PUBLISHING THE RESULTS OF ALL CLINICAL TRIALS. I have posted a number of times about the need for publishing replications studies and negative results. For example, I said here: “If more papers are published, more dull but important negative results and more dull but important replication papers will be published.” This article in the Economist (July 25) calls for the publication of all pertinent clinical trials of drugs and medical devices. It turns out that: “Though pertinent trials carried out by companies do have to be reported to those responsible for licensing drugs and medical devices, there is no obligation on firms to make them public.” Although the regulatory agencies presumably look at the information, the data is not necessarily available to outsiders, such as those who prescribe the drugs. The Economist says that: “Some estimates suggest the results of half of clinical trials are never published.”

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