A recent editorial by Dr Ben Goldacre and Prof Carl Heneghan in the BMJ calls for a routine audit of all currently used medical treatments. This audit would aim to identify if the treatment’s clinical trials were registered, what trial and research data is available, which investigators were involved in their R&D and what company manufactured the drug. Taken together, this data would help identify the best and worst treatments, companies and researchers, and inform patients and doctors before making all-important, life-or-death decisions.
The authors argue that with recent proposals for increased transparency in the UK and Europe, there has never been a better time to act than now:
“We now have an unprecedented opportunity for change, with considerable support from medical and academic professional bodies, policy makers, patient groups, and—importantly—the public. It’s time to consider what practical improvements can be made.”