Withholding clinical trial results is research misconduct the head of the register of all UK doctors told a committee of MPs yesterday. The General Medical Council (GMC) registers doctors to practise medicine in the UK. Its Chief Executive Niall Dickson told the Health Select Committee that “It’s absolutely clear – doctors cannot do research and then decide that the results aren’t to their liking and not publish it” and agreed that any doctor who was suppressing research information should be referred to a fitness to practice hearing.
Watch Dr Sarah Wollaston MP of the Health Select Committee question Mr Dickson and Professor Sir Peter Rubin, Chair of the GMC, about its guidance on clinical trial registration and reporting from 17:00 here.
Dr Ben Goldacre, co-founder of AllTrials, who, with other members of the campaign, wrote to the Health Select Committee last week, said, “This is a very important development. It should come as an urgent wake up call to that shrinking minority of outdated doctors who are still trying to justify the unethical practice of withholding unflattering trial results. The GMC has now made it clear that this constitutes research misconduct. We and others are discussing with them how best to ensure that their position is clarified in formal guidance.”