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Medical News & Perspectives
February 15, 2012

Few Studies Reporting Results at US Government Clinical Trials Site

JAMA. 2012;307(7):651-653. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.127

Fewer than one-quarter of the clinical trials registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (http://clinicaltrials.gov), a federal database set up to provide public information about clinical trials, have had their results posted in the database within a year of publication, 2 recent analyses have found.

The findings may suggest the need to boost awareness among researchers about the requirement to report and the value of reporting results in the database, or may require enforcement efforts by regulators or others with authority over clinical trial investigators. Federal agencies and academic institutions pushed for the creation of the database to promote greater public access to clinical trial data and to prevent the scientific literature from being skewed by selective reporting of positive results. Officials at the National Library of Medicine, which administers the database, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is charged with enforcing participation in the database by some trials, said they are working through nuances in the law to clarify which trials are subject to the rules and have launched some efforts to boost participation.