Experts Call on Presidential Candidates to Improve Study Transparency

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In an open letter to all US presidential candidates published Thursday in the BMJ, a group of global health care experts assert that current research regulations allow drug companies to publish incomplete and misleading results. They ask the candidates to declare whether they support improved transparency measures that would make data on drug studies publically available and open to scrutiny.

election“We call for a statement by all US presidential candidates on whether they support access to clinical trial data held by federal agencies, irrespective of topic, sponsor, country in which the trial was run or results. We ask that they state what measures they would put forward, if elected, to address the scandal of invisible and distorted clinical trials.”

Currently, medical studies in human volunteers are reported in the ClinicalTrials.gov registry, but the group claims that “study results posted on clinicaltrials.gov are, by definition, incomplete and unverified.” They add that physicians and patients, in order to make informed medical decisions, require access to data that is not currently reported on the registry.

“Medical experiments on humans (clinical trials) are carried out in the hope of improving health and furthering science,” they write. “No benefit can be derived from trials which are either invisible or reported partially or selectively.”

“US law and regulations globally affect organizational and professional behaviors with huge impact on health worldwide,” but despite several legislative efforts in the EU to improve transparency, “the US lags behind.”

To read the full letter and the list of signatories, click here

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Justin Karter
MIA Research News Editor: Justin Karter is a writer, researcher and community organizer with graduate degrees in both journalism and community psychology. He is a doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology at UMass Boston, an active member of the Society for Humanistic Psychology, and is currently working on several scholarly projects at the intersection of psychology, social theory, and political philosophy.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Meanwhile, even Bernie Sanders’ priority is to get suicidal and homicidal people “treated.” This came up when gun violence was being discussed at the last debate, if I recall correctly.

    Maybe we need to have “zap” days when everyone calls their “representatives” all day to deliver the truth about “treatments” and of course drugs.

  2. I’m hoping that this helps get the dialogue started about something that has been going on for decades and continues to this day. Will the presidential candidates face this problem squarely if confronted by global health experts? How many of the presidential candidates have ties to pharmaceutical companies?

    Unfortunately, doctors continue to use false information from botched clinical trials to guide them in prescribing pills to their patients. This is nothing short of criminal, these misleading studies, yet nothing has been done.

    I’m all for transparency. I do wonder, however, what will come of this with the presidential candidates. I feel that Bernie Sanders would definitely be one who would say yes to this. The others? I really wonder. Still, it’s a start. Something has to be done about the mess the U.S. has been in for decades with no restraint, literally leading to many deaths due to such faulty information. It’s a shame, a tragedy, a travesty.

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