Non-reporting of clinical trial results is an ongoing global public health problem.

The best currently available evidence shows that around half of all trials go unreported: this means that doctors and patients see only a partial, biased fraction of the true evidence. We cannot make informed decisions about treatments unless all the data is reported. Under EU rules, from December 2016, all trials on the European Union Clinical Trials Register (EUCTR) should post results within 12 months of completion. There has never been a rule as simple and clear as this, anywhere in the world. Our EU Trials Tracker shows which organisations are compliant, and which aren't. Our paper in the BMJ analysed the data as of January 2018, and found that only 49% of Europe's clinical trials reported results in the register.

This website is one of a series of Trials Trackers produced by the EBM DataLab at the University of Oxford.

What is a Clinical Trial?

Clinical trials are the gold standard in medicine: they are the most fair test of whether a treatment really works; they are also used to assess how one treatment compares to other available options. In a clinical trial, the treatment is usually given to real patients, in a real-world setting. The outcomes measured are ideally real-world problems that matter to patients, such as pain, disability or death; but can also include lab tests, or scans.

Why Do We Need All Trials Reported?

We use the results of clinical trials to make real-world decisions about which treatments work best. We can’t make informed choices if the results of clinical trials are withheld from doctors, researchers, and patients.

Where Can I Read the Journal Paper About This?

Full details of our research is published in the academic paper "Compliance With Requirement to Report Results on the EU Clinical Trials Register: a Cohort Study and Web Resource" by Ben Goldacre, Nicholas J DeVito, Carl Heneghan, Francis Irving, Seb Bacon, Jessica Fleminger, Helen Curtis and Open Knowledge International. This is a long and detailed analysis that describes the background and implications of the data at length, gives technical information about our methods, and reports further statistical analyses such as factors associated with reporting, or not reporting, trial results.

Who Made the EU Trials Tracker?

The Evidence-Based Medicine Data Lab at Oxford University: we are a truly multi-disciplinary team of clinicians, academics, and software engineers working together to make data more impactful in the real world. Francis Irving was the software engineer for the site; Ben Goldacre was the principal investigator; Nick DeVito was the researcher.

How Do We Contact You?

Email us! [email protected]. We'd particularly like to hear about any errors, omissions or ideas.

When Was The Data Last Updated?

This data updates regularly, on a monthly cycle. We think it’s important that information about who is reporting clinical trials is current and regularly updated: so that sponsors are always motivated to improve; and sponsors who do improve can see their good work reflected in public. The current data was taken from the register over a period of a few days starting on 2019-01-10. All clinical trials on medicinal products (drugs and vaccines) conducted in Europe since 2004 are in the register. For full details, see the register's about page.

What Does “Due” Mean?

When more than a year has passed since the completion of a trial, the results should be published, and we call it "due". Specifically, we take the latest “global end of trial date” listed for the trial; then add a year (the maximum delay permitted for sponsors to report results); and finally add 4 weeks (the statutory maximum 15 days administrative delay for results to be published on the register by the regulator, and another 5 days to allow for national holidays and exceptional circumstances). Currently, any trial completed earlier than {{ due_date_cutoff }} is due.

What’s a Major Sponsor?

The initial table on the front page shows only sponsors with 50 or more total trials in the register. This is to make the headline rankings more easily viewable. If you click “all sponsors” you can see all sponsors! This is a list of thousands, so we have also made a search box where you can find a sponsor you are particularly interested in.

What does “Inconsistent Data” Mean for a Trial?

Some trials have problematic and inconsistent data on the registry which makes it impossible to definitively tell if a trial is “due” or not. These generally represent errors by someone, but it is hard to be certain who is at fault. There are three main categories of inconsistent data:

  1. All the sites where the trial was conducted have listed their status as “completed”, so there should be a completion date; and yet there is no “global end of trial” date given anywhere.
  2. There is a date for the “global end of the trial”; and yet some of the sites are still listed as ongoing.
  3. For some, the trial status is left entirely blank.

These inconsistencies, omissions and errors may be due to errors by: the sponsor (for giving inconsistent information); or the national and European regulators (for not doing consistency checks on the data, or failing to update the information they are given). We think the EU registry managers could and should automatically identify trials with inconsistent data, as we have done; and then require sponsors to correct their records.

What Happens when Sponsors Merge or Split?

Over time organisations can merge, change names, or split: companies may acquire other companies; universities may join together; and so on. If we think an organisation is now effectively part of another, we say so at the bottom of its page. Conversely, if an organisation now effectively includes other organisations, and so is responsible for their trials, we list those at the bottom of its page. The trials of the smaller organisations are not included in the counts of the larger one. We've made every effort to get these relationships right; there is no canonical data source on mergers and acquisitions; if you think we should update any of our data on this, please tell us.