EU Lawmakers Call for Transparency of Clinical Trial Rules

By passing this law, EU lawmakers loosen the grip of pharmaceutical companies on how and when physicians prescribe a particular drug.

European Union lawmakers voted on Wednesday in favour of new rules that will ensure more open reporting of clinical trials results, even when they are negative, and also simplify the process for getting studies started.

The legislation approved by the European Parliament is expected to take effect in 2016 and will require results of all new clinical trials to be published within a year of the trial ending.

European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly, whose office investigates complaints about maladministration in EU institutions, said the move was "a triumph for transparency" in European healthcare.

There has been a growing clamour for greater disclosure of detailed clinical trial results by pharmaceutical companies following a series of scandals over the safety of drugs such as Merck & Co's now withdrawn painkiller Vioxx.

A number of senior doctors have argued that in too many cases the decision on how and when to prescribe drugs relies on selective evidence controlled by manufacturers.

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Source: Reuters