Since 2007, researchers conducting clinical trials involving human volunteers have been required to report their results to the government database clinicaltrials.gov. However, a recent OHSU study found that the same clinical trials reported different data on the website than in medical journals. They found many inconsistencies, including the number of deaths reported.
Clinicaltrials.gov is supposed to be a public resource for people to get real information about test results of drugs and medical interventions. The data could be inconsistent because of clerical errors or “editorial changes” in medical journals. But there is also a question of bias — is what’s presented in medical journals altered to try to put a positive spin on the drug or intervention being tested?
- Daniel Hartung: associate professor of pharmacy practice at OHSU