Currently there are hundreds of thousands of clinical trials that are taking place in the UK; therefore it is of utmost importance for researchers to share data from trials with their colleagues and fellows in the research world. The lives of patients and the public is the number one priority thus sharing good practice and eliminating bad practice is vital. Here are some reasons why it’s important to share clinical trials data…
There is no need for two clinical trials that are studying the same subject, from the same angle and conducted in a likewise fashion. Having access to previous clinical trial data will eliminate a duplicate effort or, at the very least, will aid researchers on modifications to make on their trial. The opportunity cost of the money saved can be invested in a more appropriate trial or in a completely different area.
Encourages different research ideas
Throughout the field of medicine from medieval times to the present day we have seen doctors and researchers build upon, modify or discount the research and findings of their predecessor and as a result have taken medicine in a new progressive direction. Though we no longer believe in evil spirits giving us headaches, it is paramount that researchers have access to the latest findings that they can scrutinise and advance medicine forward for the betterment of society globally. This is termed secondary analysis and it can occasionally result in changes in clinical practice or prove the ineffectiveness or dangers of certain practices.
As mentioned in our previous article examining why clinical trials are important researchers themselves do not know how their clinical trials are going to turn out including any adverse effects that patients may have to deal with. Therefore, having access to previous trial data means also becoming aware of possible dangers to patients and as a result changing procedures and methodology where appropriate.
Moral and ethical arguments
It is important to consider the moral and ethical viewpoint of sharing clinical trial data. As information transparency can lead to a greater reassurance in patient safety and breakthroughs in medicine makes it paramount to make data easily available. Granted there are issues of privacy, security and confidentiality that needs to be overcome but there should be a drive towards maximising benefits and minimising risks.
DCC is an organisation that works with clinical researchers to ensure their clinical trials run smoothly. Our passion lies in taking away the pain of data management during trials to ensure researchers are fully focused in their respective subject area. Want to learn more? Read about our work with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, alternatively, please get in touch or book your free knowledge sharing consultation.
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