Federal regulations require that clinical trial results are posted, but how many are? Elizabeth Tracey reports

July 20, 2021

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Clinical trial results are required by federal law to be posted within two years of a trial’s conclusion, with data available on a website called ClinicalTrials.gov. A recent study looked at how often researchers are complying. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says that number is just over half.

Nelson: Among the 7400, 7500 trials that did have their results reported, 38% of them were posted only on ClinicalTrials.gov, they did not appear in a scholarly publication. And I think what that probably is meaning is that ClinicalTrials.gov, as a registry function, may start to be a place where you can find trials results, even if the findings weren’t earthshattering enough to get into a scholarly publication. I think that’s probably where we’re headed.  :28

Nelson notes that even so-called ‘negative results’ are important in informing both the research community and the public about what doesn’t work, so moving toward 100% registration of results is an important goal. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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