Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Nearly half of clinical trials never published

Yes, we argue over whether a clinical trial really shows this or that, but apparently almost half are so inconclusive or ambiguous, they just slide off the radar.

This info comes from the University of Oxford.

Between 2004-2014, 11,714 trials out of 25,927 on Clinical Trials.gov has not been published within two yrs of being completed.

This encompassed 8.7 million patients who gave their time and hope to the research.

The problem is this--if  negative, non-significant results or no results are not reported, and positive results are, this overstates the effectiveness of treatments.

According to BuzzFeed News, the worst offender in this respect is Sanofi, a French pharmco. It published only 285 of 435 trials.

Novartis came in second, with 201 unpublished trials.

One company, Ranbaxy (Indian) published none of its trials.

On the flip side, Shire, an Ireland-based company, published all 96 of its trials.

When trials are not published, so-called evidence-based medicine is not possible or is skewed.

The researchers also said not publishing betrayed the participants, who had undergone a lot of inconvenience or pain to benefit patients like them.

The pressure is there to publish only high-impact results, as one researcher put it.

Novartis did fight back, saying their results were published on their own website.


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