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Only full access to trial data will show signs of ghostwriting, meeting hears

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d2925 (Published 10 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2925
  1. Ann Silversides
  1. 1Toronto

Clinical trial registration alone provides only limited methodological information of variable quality and is inadequate to show the scale of drug company involvement in research studies, a conference has heard.

An Wen Chan, a clinician, systematic reviewer, and scientist with the Women’s College Research Institute in Toronto, told a workshop on the ethics of ghost authorship at the University of Toronto on 4 May that access to full trial protocols is a vital first step towards greater transparency.

Problems associated with the ghost authorship of biomedical research studies range from “deeply disconcerting to shattering,” said Ross Upshur, director of the University of Toronto’s Joint Centre for Bioethics.

Ghost authorship of articles that overestimate the efficacy and underestimate the safety concerns …

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