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June 7, 2000

Improving the Conduct and Reporting of Clinical Trials

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;283(21):2787-2790. doi:10.1001/jama.283.21.2787

To the Editor: Several journals have recently drawn attention to problems associated with duplicate publication and ghost writing1,2 and the advantages of registering clinical trials.3,4 While clinical trial registers address some problems, their effects on patient care will be limited unless they are backed by sound publication policies. Similarly, while guidelines such as the CONSORT statement5 represent a valuable effort to improve the standards of reporting clinical trials, they do not address related issues such as selective publication or relationships between investigators and sponsoring companies. Most clinicians rely on the published literature for information about clinical trials and are forced to take this information at face value. Selective or poor reporting of clinical trials limits the usefulness of information available to health care practitioners.

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