Interview on missing trials with the Institute for Clinical Research

December 22nd, 2012 by Ben Goldacre in bad science | 7 Comments »

Just catching up on posting some overdue entries, I’ll do a roundup of progress on the hidden trial data problem in a while. Firstly, briefly, here’s an interview I did with the members’ journal of the Institute for Clinical Research (the people who design and run clinical trials). It’s a good, constructive discussion, mostly covering publication bias and missing data. Shortly afterwards, the ICR issued a position statement on transparency and hidden data, which is (partially!) good.  



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7 Responses

  1. Atropine said,

    January 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Hidden trial data are a problem, but I’d humbly suggest this is *more* of a problem:

    …in which an anti-immunisation zealot encourages children to contract measles. Really.

  2. Ben Goldacre said,

    January 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I honestly don’t think one pathetic antivaccination book bought by nobody is more important than half of all clinical trials in medicine going unpublished.

  3. m0thr4 said,

    January 4, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    True, but still surely worthy of a blog post, when you’ve got time?

  4. smack said,

    January 4, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Indeed, we should use more real world data to compliment data found in clinical trials. Not only should we include data from everyday routine clinical operations, but information provided by websites like is also particularly useful for a better understanding new markets and demands.

  5. balderdash said,

    January 5, 2013 at 9:35 am

    The difference between me and the many is my belief that we are not at the mercy of this illness,but that of corrupt political and business interests,who market progress,but prevent it happening. Progress,has been taken over by wealth and it costs to you is health,sustain and maintain,is profit and gain.The market value of your illness increases by billions each year,forecast reports decades ahead are produced and sold, yes your a commodity.It doesnt matter how bad your day is your probably doing well on the stock market.You are an unsung hero in all of this,you may think, but do think again,because your fundraising there game.

    The protection of our health sustains wealth and impounds cures,but propaganda has us thinking,progress.
    A statistician I am not,the owner of a degenerative brain disorder,I am.Research should be an adventure an exciting quest,not a pharmaceutical game,driven by markets.I didnt like what I read in Bens book, but everyone involved is responsible for the debacle we have patients doctors reseachers pharmas.Expose the facts and move forward,time is the enemy,most sick people dont have that on there side,and legislative processes are slow and protracted.Data is better protected than I am,thats changing,we have information access and choices like never before.
    I have hope for the future,because I understand my illness ,Ive taken control the cure. I realise ,I dont need it.Just as well because it wont present itself in my lifetime, this was my awakening,I actually felt better, because, I was aware and had taken some vestige of responsibility for my health,Im not going to win the health olympics,but I am a participant.

    Unless you stop think and turn the tide you will be lost to fear and fundraising,your fate there acomplie, your life handed to them.

    The attack against the United States on 11 September2001 resulted in the ascendant ‘war on terror’and gave rise to powerful,measures to protect us from such threats to our nations and our individual security.The war that rages silently,is the most terrifying of all,no one wants to take up arms,millions are dying,swallow your pills turn a blind eye ,its got to change health budgets are stretched to a capacity the is not sustainable to progress.

  6. smack said,

    January 5, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Quote: “The attack against the United States on 11 September2001 resulted in the ascendant ‘war on terror’and gave rise to powerful,measures to protect us from such threats.”

    It also made my heroin more expensive so I was forced to switch to Oxycontin…

  7. Midlands GP said,

    January 6, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Hi Ben
    Just finished reading Bad Pharma and I’m left with a question – has the BMJ reviewed it? I looked and could see no reviews – maybe I missed it. I looked at the Rawlins review in the Lancet and thought it missed the point.