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Experts urge end to 'incomplete data' in clinical trials


Experts have called for an end to “incomplete data disclosure” and more robust regulation of information in clinical trials.

The British Medical Journal website has released various papers investigating the issues of unpublished data to support their argument.

Dr Richard Lehman, of Oxford University, and clinical epidemiology editor of the BMJ, Dr Elizabeth Loder, wrote in an editorial: “Clinical medicine involves making decisions under uncertainty.

“Clinical research aims to reduce this uncertainty, usually by performing experiments on groups of people who consent to run the risks of such trials in the belief that the resulting knowledge will benefit others.”

However, in an editorial, they argued that a “culture of haphazard publication” meant that decisions are not made using the best evidence.

As such, more robust regulation was needed, as was full access to raw trial information.

Dr Lehman and Dr Loder said: “Most clinicians assume that the complex regulatory systems that govern human research ensure that this knowledge is relevant, reliable and properly disseminated.

“It generally comes as a shock to clinicians, and certainly to the public, to learn that this is far from the case.”


Readers' comments (3)

  • 'as was full access to raw trial information'

    Yes - it should, in fact, be publish all of the data, then argue your case/conclusions, not present your case/conclusions and selectively present data. From the 'theoretically neutral' perspective - of course, pharma comps are trying to sell their own products.

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  • "“It generally comes as a shock to clinicians, and certainly to the public, to learn that this is far from the case.”"

    I doubt it is a shock to the public. they are bombarded daily with so much dubious and false information in the media and are no longer trustful of any regulatory systems. They are perhaps less naive and more savvy than the clinicians and than they are given credit for by Big Pharma and the medical profession!

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  • Until either the law is changed to compel private companies to disclose all trial data, or, clinical trials are funded from a public purse which is impartial this situation will continue.
    With the privatisation of the NHS this will worsen

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