We wrote a little over a month ago about the large number of institutions not reporting study results, as required on ClinicalTrials.gov. Now, Stat reports that a federal court has ruled that those reports must be filed, although the timeframe for compliance remains ambiguous.
In 1997, the BMJ reported that GlaxoSmithKline had withheld data in a clinical trial, specifically, that Paxil was ineffective in adolescents and often caused suicidal thoughts. From the subsequent justifiable uproar rose ClinicalTrials.gov, a registry for clinical trials requiring the posting of their results when the study was completed. A new study shows that this regulation is routinely ignored. And like a labradoodle, is all bark and no bite.
Clinical trial registries are supposed to hold researchers accountable for publishing all results. But who is responsible when they ignore the rules?