Intended for healthcare professionals


“Shocking” number of clinical trials are never reported, say MPs

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 30 October 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4582
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

The proportion of clinical trials that do not publish any results is “shocking,” says a new report from an influential parliamentary committee.

Norman Lamb, a former health minister and now chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, said, “An astonishing amount of information from clinical trials is going unreported. Many of these are funded with public money, and the taxpayer has a right to expect those who benefit from public funding to follow the rules and publish in full.”

The committee heard evidence that around 50% of trials did not publish any results and that academic researchers were less likely than those working in the pharmaceutical industry to publish. It also found that the Health Research Authority, despite having the promotion of research transparency in the UK as a statutory objective since 2014, had not brought about significant change.

In the report of its findings the committee …

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