Study: Few clinical trial results posted on federal website as required by law

Only 13% of clinical trials registered at ClinicalTrials.gov posted their results within one year of data collection, as required by federal law, according to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine. The rate of posting within one year was lower among trials sponsored by the federal National Institutes of Health (8%) than in those funded by industry (17%). And only 5.7% of trials sponsored by academic or government sources other than NIH posted within the timeframe. Many of the privately funded trials requested a delay in posting results for legal reasons. The lack of transparency raises concerns about selective publication of only positive data. In addition, researchers are denied the opportunity to learn from others. However, change is on the horizon. In February the feds proposed a new rule expanding the scope of clinical trials required to post summary results, including those for unapproved, unlicensed, and uncleared products. All NIH-funded trials would be subject to the stricter rules even if they are not covered under the law, because noncompliance could result in loss of the agency's funding. More | Study press release

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