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NIHR tops international chart for clinical trial transparency

Published: 04 May 2023

The NIHR has been recognised as the world’s most transparent research funding body.

New analysis produced by TranspariMED shows the NIHR is the only research funder in the world to have adopted all 11 of the World Health Organisation’s recommendations for maximising clinical trial transparency and minimising waste.

These include:

  • making all clinical trial results public within 12 months
  • having specific policies to prevent waste in research and speed up the development of new treatments
  • requiring researchers to make key data available on public trial registries and publish their results in scientific journals
  • monitoring whether researchers are following best practices, and sanctioning those that do not

This accolade follows research published last year that showed the NIHR was Europe’s most transparent research funder.

Professor Lucy Chappell, NIHR Chief Executive, welcomed the news as evidence of continuing efforts to make NIHR-funded research as accessible and efficient as possible:

“We want to ensure that patients and the public benefit from all of our health and care research. By making sure that our research results are available in good time, and by reducing waste in research, we can help get new treatments out as soon as possible, and look at stopping those that are not effective.

The NIHR has been working hard with its researchers and its public and patient collaborators to embed good practices across all of its areas. We are proud to see that this new analysis recognises our hard work in this area, and we will continue to challenge ourselves to improve further wherever possible.”

NIHR’s policies on clinical trial transparency

The WHO drafted a Joint Statement on clinical trial transparency in 2017. This included 23 medical research funders, with more joining since then.

In 2019, the NIHR launched its Policy for Clinical Trials Registration and Disclosure of Results, based on the following principles:

  • Minimising the burden on researchers, participants and NIHR
  • Ensuring the re-use of existing systems and data, where possible
  • Providing a fully transparent and accessible portfolio of research
  • Being mindful of changes to requirements over time, both historically and in the future

Find out more about our work in this area in our 2019-20 audit of compliance with NIHR clinical trial registration requirements. An updated audit will be available soon.

TranspariMED is a nonprofit organisation that works to end evidence distortion in medicine.

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