Our response to the letter sent to the Secretary of State on UK clinical trial transparency

Last updated on 15 Jun 2023

On Thursday 16 June a letter was sent to the Science, Innovation and Technology Committee from a group of organisations raising concerns about the progress being made on clinical trials transparency.

Naho Yamazaki, Head of Policy and Engagement

'We would like to acknowledge the letter and thank the signatories for their ongoing passionate support for transparent clinical research.

'Our work to ensure research is carried out transparently is a priority for the HRA. We know that being able to find out about research and see its findings is important to people, and sharing findings publicly is better for research.

'Transparency reduces waste, informs decisions-making, builds trust in research findings and encourages more people to participate in research.

'We launched our transparency strategy and #MakeitPublic campaign in July 2020 and we have made some significant progress, but there is still more to do.'

Naho Yamazaki, Deputy Director of Policy and Partnerships Health Research Authority

Below are some of the highlights of the progress that we have made on our commitments to research transparency made in our Make it Public strategy.

Make transparency easy

Clinical trials legislation guidance

We are producing guidance to help researchers with the new clinical trials legislation and the impact on transparency.

Make transparency the norm

A policy for acting on non-compliance with research transparency requirements

We are developing this policy as we implement the new clinical trials legislation.

Ongoing promotion of research transparency

The Make it Public Campaign Group champions research transparency and meets every two months to look at new ways to promote and encourage transparency. The group publish reports and recently co-ordinated Make it Public Week - the UK's first dedicated week to research transparency.

Make information public

Automatic registration of clinical trials

We have delivered on this for clinical trials of medicines. We are currently updating our technology which should make this possible for all clinical trials in the future, and link to other systems such as Be Part of Research, which could help deliver the ambitions set out in the Lord O’Shaughnessy review for registry.

Compliance monitoring

We have started to collect compliance data through our new final report. We are working on putting processes in place to remind all researchers to submit final reports, monitor compliance and help us to report on this.

Publish data on performance against research transparency requirements

Our Transparency Annual Report 2022/23 publishes data on compliance with transparency expectations, and we are exploring how we might make transparency data available more regularly in a way that is both robust and responsible.

A new way to share research summaries

We currently share research summaries on our website but we want to make it easier for people to find out more about specific studies. As we update our technology we will develop new ways to share research summaries.

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