Intended for healthcare professionals

CCBYNC Open access

Accessibility of trial reports for drugs stalling in development: a systematic assessment of registered trials

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 09 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1116

Putting trial reports in public domain

Clinical trial reports are a great source of scientific information for scientists, the public and policy planners alike. Reports guide the medical scientists for newer developments related to management in the related field. Often, negative trial results are subdued and the findings are not revealed to the scientific community, as seen in publications. Journals are also biased towards publishing positive findings and not negative findings. Sponsors of the trials, on the other hand, try to bury negative reports and and the findings go oblivious to the scientific community. Such a practice needs to be strongly opposed in the light of shedding newer knowledge on development of drugs, vaccines etc. Sharing the information is also of importance to the public and to policy makers since similar trials are often undertaken in other developing countries despite the knowledge of sponsors regarding their negative reports. This poses a challenge and risk to the health of the participants of the trial, who merely act as an experimental animal without any knowledge of any harmful effects of the trial. Such malpractices need to be curbed. There is a strong felt need for policy regarding publication of trial reports either in journals, or reports in the sponsors’ publications/journals, or by the institution where the work has been done. We strongly support the views expressed by the authors in the article.

Competing interests: No competing interests

14 March 2015
Mongjam Meghachandra Singh
Reeta Devi
Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, co-author: Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi
Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, co-author: School of Health Sciences, IGNOU, New Delhi