Thursday, September 09, 2004

Medical Journals to Require Registration of Drug Trials

The recent controversy about the safety of antidepressant medication has brought another issue to the forefront. (Use the search function in the sidebar and search for "antidepressant" to see other posts on this subject.) For many years, there has been concern in the medical profession abut the selective publication of drug trials. What this means is that an experiment that shows that a drug works is more likely to be published than an experiment that shows no effect. Thus, it is possible for medical professionals to develop a false impression about the effectiveness of a particular treatment.

That such selective publication could occur is surprising to many people. However, it order to understand it, it is important to understand the circumstances in which many of these experiments are done.   In this post, I explain how this happened, what the medical profession is doing about it, and why it matters.  I also mention some unintended consequences that are likely to result.  Some are good; others not.  Read the rest at The Rest of the Story