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Keywords:

  • Clinical trial registration;
  • Africa;
  • trial landscape

Abstract

Background Prospective registration in a clinical trial registry is mandatory for all clinical trial research intended for publication in any International Committee of Medical Journal Editors member journal. With the launch of the Pan African Clinical Trial Registry (PACTR) in September 2009, the first African member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Network of Primary Registers came into being as the only registry dedicated specifically to trials on the African continent.

Objective To examine the usefulness of PACTR as a resource for information on clinical trial activity in Africa, and to provide data on the African clinical trial landscape after the first year of a dedicated registry.

Methods Data was extracted from PACTR on 18 August 2010 on diseases investigated, intervention types, trial locations, principal investigator locations, and registration dates.

Results Clinical trial registration is steadily increasing throughout the region, and there is evidence that the dedicated assistance of staff can facilitate further trial registration. An analysis of the country of origin of principal investigators shows that clinical trial work is increasingly being generated within the continent.

Conclusions Although the registry is in a nascent stage, its value as a resource can already be seen; by extracting data from the registry we can identify what trial work is being conducted in the region, where, and by whom, shedding light on the present trial landscape on the continent. PACTR is committed to increasing trial registration and awareness of the importance of registration, while also helping to harmonize national registry efforts across the African continent.