Government action needed to ensure science saves lives

17 September 2013        

Category: Research

Technicial research

There is an unacceptable lack of transparency around many clinical trials in the UK and the Government’s efforts to tackle the problem have not been good enough, according to a new report from a committee of MPs.

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee says many trials are unregistered and unpublished which is slowing the rate of medical advancement. Its report also draws attention to the recent fall in the number of trials taking place, stating that the UK was a “particularly challenging” place to conduct a trial. 

The committee recommended:

It’s imperative our progress isn’t hindered by a lack of access to data and unnecessary red tape.

  • The Government improve the Clinical Trials Gateway and raise its profile with patients, clinicians and the general public
  • All trials involving the NHS or receiving public funding should be prospectively registered and their results published in a scientific journal
  • The Government take steps to facilitate greater sharing of the raw data generated during a trial

We are the UK’s biggest single independent funder of cardiovascular research, spending the equivalent of £154 every minute on our research programme.

Our Chief Executive, Simon Gillespie, said: “We spend around £90 million on life-saving research every year and it’s imperative our progress, made possible by public donations, isn’t hindered by a lack of access to data and unnecessary red tape.

"We welcome the Commons science and technology committee’s report and its emphasis on the need to create a supportive environment for our scientists and make the UK a world leader when it comes to clinical trials.

"Greater transparency in trial registration, outcomes and data is important for the development of safe and effective treatments for patients and the UK Government must take urgent action domestically and in Europe to ensure our science continues to save lives."