31 Jul 2015 Spilling the beans: Failure to publish the results of all clinical trials is skewing medical science
An article published in the Science section of the July 25th, 2015 print edition of The Economist examines how failure to publish the results of all clinical trials is skewing medical science. Some estimates suggest the results of half of clinical trials are never published. These missing data have, over several decades, systematically distorted perceptions of the efficacy of drugs, devices and even surgical procedures. And that misperception has sometimes harmed patients. You can read the article on line here: http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21659703-failure-publish-results-all-clinical-trials-skewing-medical
And for a bit of fun, you can try the on line “clinical trial simulator”, which was put together by the data team at The Economist using data from the BMJ and published as the “daily chart” on July 29th: http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/07/daily-chart-other-placebo-effect. You can run your own trials, hide results you don’t like and see what that does to a drug’s effectiveness. Once you’re done, you can also see a real life example showing how Pfizer used this strategy with the drug Reboxetine for clinical depression starting in the 1990s.