Background: In recent years, there has been a big push to register trials, but there are a number of problems with the data in public clinical trial registries. Here, we describe a cross-sectional study of the classification of the primary sponsors of all Phase 2, Phase 2/3, and Phase 3 interventional trials registered with the Clinical Trials Registry-India between May 15, 2016 and May 14, 2021.
Methods: Data was scraped from the records of CTRI, various filters were applied, and the trials of interest identified.
Results: Of 5,453 trials, 105 did not identify a sponsor and 1,080 were sponsored by individuals. Of the remaining 4,268 trials, 427 had unique sponsors, and 3,841 had a total of 350 non-unique sponsors. Of the 350 sponsors, 202 were classified in a single category, and 147 were classified in two or more categories. Overall, of the 3,841 trials, sponsors in 3,537 (92.1%) were classified in one or more of nine well-defined categories, and 304 (7.9%) were classified as various versions of “Other”. Three major problems with the sponsor data were identified: each trial does not necessarily list a sponsor, a given sponsor may be categorised in multiple ways, and there has been an excessive use of the “Other” category. Addressing these problems will enable automated analyses of the database, and improve the transparency of the data.Conclusion: Our study generates evidence highlighting the need to improve the trial registration system in India, and perhaps elsewhere.
Copyright and license ©Indian Journal of Medical Ethics 2023: Open Access and Distributed under the Creative Commons license ( CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits only non-commercial and non-modified sharing in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.