“We do clinical trials to find out which treatments work best,” says Ben Goldacre, a researcher who crunches medical data sets at the University of Oxford. He previously worked as a psychiatrist, hence the “we.” “We cannot make informed choices with our patients, as doctors, unless we have the results of all the clinical trials that have been conducted on all of the treatments that we use.”
At issue is a law in the U.S., and a non-legally binding piece of “guidance” in the E.U., that say organizations that run clinical trials must post their results publicly after a certain time frame. In the U.S., the data is supposed to go to ClinicalTrials.gov.
In the E.U., it’s ClinicalTrialsRegister.eu.
The rules are meant to make it easier for doctors and researchers all over the world to look up data about how well drugs work.