Some of the world’s biggest medical research and philanthropy groups have come together to create a new set of standards that’ll govern the clinical trials they fund. The guidelines — created by Doctors Without Borders, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and others — would require any trial they fund to be registered and the results reported. About half of clinical trial results worldwide go unreported.
Researchers running clinical trials in the US are required by federal law to publicly report their results, but many research institutions frequently and flagrantly violate that law. That gap in reporting means doctors and patients don’t have the complete picture needed to gauge the risks and benefits of treatments. Now, the funders of some of those trials say they’re tired of hearing excuses about why results aren’t getting reported. The new guidelines give researchers who receive their funding a clear-cut deadline for turning in their data.