What Clinical Trial Results? Now You Can See Who Isn’t Sharing Their Findings

Ed Silverman | STAT | November 3, 2016

The results for nearly half of all clinical trials conducted by big drug makers during the last decade have not been published, and one company — Ranbaxy Laboratories — has not published findings for any of the nearly three dozen trials conducted in the past 10 years, according to a new online tool. The tool was launched Thursday by AllTrials, a consortium of researchers and medical journals that has been pushing the pharmaceutical industry to do a better job of disclosing clinical trial data. This is an important, but also contentious, issue because without access to such data, independent researchers are unable to verify results that can lead to improved treatments, better health care, and lower costs.

The problem has not been confined to drug makers, though. An investigation last year by STAT found that many universities and medical centers, including some the most prestigious research institutions in the US, violated federal law by failing to report their study results to the ClinicalTrials.gov, the federal database that the new tool also sifts through for information. “Everyone has been talking about this problem for far too long,” said Dr. Ben Goldacre, who is a founder of the AllTrials campaign, in a statement. “If any institution is concerned that it is doing badly in our tables, then there is one simple thing they can do: publish their trial results, using their trial registry number, so that this information can be accessed and read by doctors, researchers and patients.”

Who should take note? Well, the tracker found that Sanofi, for instance, had the largest number of missing trial results. There are 285 missing results from 435 eligible trials, which meant the company has not shared 65 percent of its findings, according to the tracker. Here is what a Sanofi spokesman sent us in response: “In line with regulatory requirements and industry recommendations on voluntary disclosure, Sanofi systematically registers studies and discloses results on public registries, such as ClinicalTrials.gov and the EU-Clinical Trial Register. We also disclose certain results on our corporate website, in peer-reviewed medical/scientific journals and/or at medical congresses”...