Clinical trials are the best way we have of testing whether a medicine is safe and effective. They can involve thousands of people, patients and healthy volunteers, and take years to complete.
Results from around half of all clinical trials remain hidden
Trials with negative results are twice as likely to remain unreported as those with positive results. This means that people who make decisions about medicines don’t have full information about the benefits and risks of treatments we use every day. Discover for yourself the impact of withholding results by playing The Economist’s clinical trial publishing game.
Thousands of clinical trials have never been publicly registered
There is no complete list of all clinical trials, so we don’t even know that some trials have taken place, never mind what was found in them.
The contributions of hundreds of thousands of patients are unused and unusable
Patients volunteer for clinical trials because they expect that what was found in the trial will be of use to doctors who make decisions about treatments and to researchers who are studying the condition. Trial participants have told us that the culture of secrecy around clinical trial reporting is a betrayal of their trust. Read their words here.
All clinical trials, past and present, should be registered and results reported
If action is not taken urgently, information about what was done in thousands of clinical trials and what was found out about medicines we use everyday could be lost forever, leading to bad treatment decisions, missed opportunities for good medicine, and trials being repeated unnecessarily. Read more detail about what AllTrials is calling for here.
Get involved in the AllTrials campaign.
See the hundreds of organisations that have joined the campaign.
Watch the AllTrials videos.
Read our responses to common objections.
Read our 8 page briefing note on missing trials.
Listen to AllTrials co-founder Ben Goldacre talk about the importance of clinical trial transparency.