Cochrane cannot produce accurate and rigorous systematic reviews unless the results of all trials are published and openly available. As the All Trials website says: “Information on what was done and what was found in these trials could be lost forever to doctors and researchers, leading to bad treatment decisions, missed opportunities for good medicine, and trials being repeated.”
The founder of the Cochrane Collaboration, Dr Iain Chalmers, explains why this is crucial on the MRC website. He comments: “It’s not only unethical and scientific misconduct; it is also simply a waste of precious research resources. As illustrated by numerous examples, under-reporting of research has led to harm to patients from exaggerated estimates of treatment benefits and safety, and built-in inefficiency in efforts to discover useful and safer treatments.”
Hundreds of organisations have now commited to the aim of getting all clinical trials registered and their results reported. These include regulators and faculties. GSK, one of the biggest drug companies in the world, has signed up and others are considering it. Some of these groups are now starting discussions about the practical ways to stop trial results being withheld.
Show your support today by signing the AllTrials petition.