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Research Letter
July 2018

Results Reporting for Trials With the Same Sponsor, Drug, and Condition in ClinicalTrials.gov and Peer-Reviewed Publications

Author Affiliations
  • 1The National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland
JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(7):990-992. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.0263

Missing or incomplete reporting of clinical trial results and its scientific and ethical consequences are well documented.1,2 One concrete example of this problem occurs when a sponsor conducts several studies of a particular drug for a particular condition but only some (or none) of the studies make their way into the public domain, leaving a distorted body of public evidence.3 Policies that require reporting to ClinicalTrials.gov are designed to ameliorate that problem. ClinicalTrials.gov currently has more than 255 000 registered studies, with summary results information for more than 28 000 studies, of which an estimated half lack corresponding publications.2,4,5 To evaluate the influence of this resource on the evidence base, we examined the extent to which sets of trials registered in ClinicalTrials.gov by individual sponsors for the same drug and condition had results available publicly in ClinicalTrials.gov and/or PubMed.