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Advocacy Success: HRC To Sign WHO Joint Statement On Public Disclosure Of Clinical Trial Results

Transparency International New Zealand and Mesh Down Under are celebrating success in their advocacy for greater transparency in clinical trials. Together they advocated for the Health Research Council (HRC) to be signed up to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Joint statement on public disclosure of results from clinical trials. This has now happened after endorsement by the Ministry of Health.

The Joint Statement sets out policy and monitoring requirements for mandatory time frames for registration and public disclosure of the results of clinical trials.

Charlotte Korte, spokesperson for Mesh Down Under says "The Health Research Council are making a strong commitment to ensure that all requirements are being met for HRC funded clinical trials and New Zealand's commitment to the joint statement is a significant and important step."

"Many clinical researchers are already following best practice, but this commitment should show up those who are not registering clinical trials or reporting on their clinical trial results publicly and in good time. The HRC signing this statement will be a motivator for researchers to step up their game," Korte adds.

Julie Haggie, CEO of Transparency International New Zealand says "this is a good step towards improving accurate and timely public access to clinical trial information. Unpublished or 'invisible' trials can result in harmful drugs and devices being released onto the market, as seen in the case of surgical mesh."

Haggie continues, "Our hope is that this improves decisions around patient care resulting in patients getting more accurate information on the medical procedure, treatment or drug they are being offered."

Greater transparency will also reduce publication bias caused by only reporting where clinical trials show positive outcomes.

We congratulate the Ministry of Health and the Health Research Council for taking this action.

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