A Dozen Disclosure & Transparency Predictions for 2019


Applied Clinical Trials

With 2018 not far behind us, we turn our attention to the coming year. On a daily basis, TrialScope’s collective fingers are on the pulse of clinical trial disclosure and transparency. Over the past decade and more, we have seen a heightened awareness of-and focus on-the compliance of clinical trial sponsors. And so we offer a laundry list of 2019 predictions for the pharmaceutical industry:

Patient-centricity will be an ongoing theme in the clinical trials industry:

1. Sponsors will make significant investments in patient-friendly clinical trial websites to support active patient-engagement programs.

2. Patients, caregivers, and advocates will be more vocal regarding their expectations of making clinical trial information more accessible and understandable.

3. The healthcare community will develop initial metrics to measure the impact and value of various patient engagement initiatives.

4. Sponsors that have waited to develop their plain (lay) language summary authoring capabilities will scramble to catch up to meet the pending regulatory requirements.

Industry watchdogs will keep sponsors on their toes:             

1. Sponsors will be forced to respond to new and expanded disclosure tracking sites ranking trial sponsors by compliance metrics. These were formed in 2018:
FDAAA Trials TrackerEU Trials Tracker

Governmental regulatory agencies will aim for greater consistency and stricter enforcement:

1. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is poised to assess civil monetary penalties and publish public notices for violating requirements relating to ClinicalTrials.gov; draft guidance has been issued. 

2. Sponsors will be scrambling to test and prepare for the new EU portal, scheduled to launch in 2020, which will be the single entry point for submitting clinical trial information in the EU.

3. Because International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) requirements to publish a data sharing plan cannot be fulfilled by all registries (EudraCT, for example), we will see more consolidation around CTGOV as the registry of choice.

4. While big pharma will continue to be under the microscope, so to speak, greater attention will be placed on smaller biopharmaceutical and device organizations as well as academia for non-compliance.

5. Likewise, regulators and registries will be under greater pressure to monitor compliance.

Medical devices will be under greater scrutiny:

1. Device companies will need to pay attentionto the new Eudamed device regulations and database in 2019 to prepare for 2020.

2. In the U.S., devices also are drawing more attention. This year, the FDA released its Medical Device Safety Action Plan: Protecting Patients, Promoting Public Health.

“Data sharing” will become a new industry mantra:

1. Sponsors will encounter challenges navigating the various data-sharing requirements in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. (FDA Pilot).

2. The “data-sharing economy” of clinical trials will continue to grow, as sponsors look for new ways to efficiently leverage existing data for the benefit of patient recruitment and retention, research transparency and innovation, and trial disclosure compliance.

We’ll go out on a limb here and say that 2019 could be the “Year of Clinical Trial Transparency.” Patient centricity, patient experience and health literacy are buzzwords that are rapidly becoming the new reality. Data sharing is already gaining ground in Europe’s scientific community; it remains to be seen whether it will secure a strong foothold in the pharmaceutical industry as well.


Francine Lane, Vice President of Global Transparency and Thomas Wicks, Chief Strategy Officer, both at TrialScope

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