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October 3, 2007

Clinical Trial Registries

JAMA. 2007;298(13):1514-1515. doi:10.1001/jama.298.13.1514-b

To the Editor: The status of and experiences with clinical trial registration were reviewed by Dr Zarin and colleagues.1 An issue that was not raised in this article was the unforeseen extra work generated for researchers as a result of the success of ClinicalTrials.gov in reaching the general public.

In the 2 years after registering a new investigation with ClinicalTrials.gov, I received hundreds of e-mails from patients and other nonclinicians. Most were interested in enrollment, even though the study had reached its target and was now closed. Some apparently viewed the e-mail link as access to obtain medical advice. A colleague contacted me for preliminary results before the trial was completed. I even received e-mails from persons trying sell me products for my office—ClinicalTrials.gov as a gateway to direct marketing!