Clinical trials and meningitis

1st November 2018

Supporters may have seen recent news coverage about the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee calling for greater transparency around clinical trials

Clinical trials and meningitis blog

This follows reports of scientists failing to divulge the results of their clinical trials, including trials relating to meningitis vaccines. The committee said the failure to publish data from the research holds a "risk to human health".

Responding to the news, Dr Tom Nutt, Chief Executive at Meningitis Now, said, “We are aware of the reports about three unpublished trials which reportedly relate to meningitis vaccines."

“We were not involved in these trials, and so are unable to comment upon them."

“As a charity that has long supported the development of vaccines however, we have no reason to doubt either the safety or effectiveness of the current meningitis vaccine programme, which we know is saving lives.”

Norman Lamb MP, Chairman of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, is reported in the news as saying, “An astounding amount of information from the clinical trials is going unreported.” 

He has called on the Health Research Agency (HRA) to do more to improve reporting rates.

“The HRA must act now to ensure current regulations are enforced and impose tough sanctions on those who seem to think it is acceptable to disregard valuable research,” he added.  

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisations at Public Health England, said, “We register all our trials on the EU Clinical Trials Register before they begin and are in the process of uploading our results data to it."

“We are committed to transparency and have already published the data publicly in academic journals and online.”

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