The imperative to share clinical study reports: Recommendations from the Tamiflu experience
Date of this Version
Summary Points: Systematic reviews of published randomized clinical trials (RCTs) are considered the gold standard source of synthesized evidence for interventions, but their conclusions are vulnerable to distortion when trial sponsors have strong interests that might benefit from suppressing or promoting selected data.
More reliable evidence synthesis would result from systematic reviewing of clinical study reports—standardized documents representing the most complete record of the planning, execution, and results of clinical trials, which are submitted by industry to government drug regulators.
Unfortunately, industry and regulators have historically treated clinical study reports as confidential documents, impeding additional scrutiny by independent researchers.
We propose clinical study reports become available to such scrutiny, and describe one manufacturer's unconvincing reasons for refusing to provide us access to full clinical study reports. We challenge industry to either provide open access to clinical study reports or publically defend their current position of RCT data secrecy.
This document has been peer reviewed.