Differential globalization of industry- and non-industry-sponsored clinical trials

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Background: Mapping the international landscape of clinical trials may inform global health research governance, but no large-scale data are available. Industry or non-industry sponsorship may have a major influence in this mapping. We aimed to map the global landscape of industryand non-industry-sponsored clinical trials and its evolution over time. Methods: We analyzed clinical trials initiated between 2006 and 2013 and registered in the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP). We mapped single-country and international trials by World Bank's income groups and by sponsorship (industry-vs. non-industry), including its evolution over time from 2006 to 2012. We identified clusters of countries that collaborated significantly more than expected in industry- and non-industry-sponsored international trials. Results: 119,679 clinical trials conducted in 177 countries were analysed. The median number of trials per million inhabitants in high-income countries was 100 times that in low-income countries (116.0 vs. 1.1). Industry sponsors were involved in three times more trials per million inhabitants than non-industry sponsors in high-income countries (75.0 vs. 24.5) and in ten times fewer trials in low-income countries (0.08 vs. 1.08). Among industry- and nonindustry-sponsored trials, 30.3% and 3.2% were international, respectively. In the industrysponsored network of collaboration, Eastern European and South American countries collaborated more than expected; in the non-industry-sponsored network, collaboration among Scandinavian countries was overrepresented. Industry-sponsored international trials became more inter-continental with time between 2006 and 2012 (from 54.8% to 67.3%) as compared with non-industry-sponsored trials (from 42.4% to 37.2%). Conclusions: Based on trials registered in the WHO ICTRP we documented a substantial gap between the globalization of industry- and non-industry-sponsored clinical research. Only 3% of academic trials but 30% of industry trials are international. The latter appeared to be conducted in preferentially selected countries.




Atal, I., Trinquart, L., Porcher, R., & Ravaud, P. (2015). Differential globalization of industry- and non-industry-sponsored clinical trials. PLoS ONE, 10(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0145122

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