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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Commentary

Legislation for trial registration and data transparency

Zhao-Xiang Bian1* and Tai-Xiang Wu2

Author Affiliations

1 School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China

2 Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Chinese Evidence-based Medicine Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, Sichuan Province, China

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Trials 2010, 11:64  doi:10.1186/1745-6215-11-64

Published: 26 May 2010


Public confidence in clinical trials has been eroded by data suppression, misrepresentation and manipulation. Although various attempts have been made to achieve universal trial registration- e.g., Declaration of Helsinki, WHO clinical Trial Registry Platform (WHO ICTRP), the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors requirement- they have not succeeded, probably because they lack the enough power of enforcement.

Legislation appears to be the most efficient and effective means to ensure that all researchers register their trials and disseminate their data accurately and in a timely manner. We propose that a global network be established. This could be accomplished in two steps. The first step is to legislate about trial registration and data transparency, such as USA's FDAAA Act 2007; and the second step to establish a global network to ensure uniform, international consistency in policy and enforcement of trial registration and data transparency.