Academic medical centers aren't so good at reporting the results of their clinical trials, according to an analysis appearing in the BMJ.
"In a study powered by the labor of medical students, my colleagues and I found that two-thirds of clinical trials led by scientists at our finest academic institutions didn't share their results publicly within two years of the study's completion, " Yale School of Medicine's Harlan Krumholz writes at NPR.
Krumholz and his colleagues sifted through all interventional clinical trials registered on ClinicalTrials.gov to find ones being led by an investigator at an academic medical center. From this, they found 4,347 interventional clinical trials being run across 51 academic medical centers between October 2007 and September 2010.
Of those, only 1,560, or 35.9 percent, published their results or reported them at ClinicalTrials.gov within 24 months of the study's end, the researchers reported in the BMJ.
"The failure to share results is so pervasive that it seems inappropriate to blame individuals. Instead, it is a systemic problem," Krumholz writes at NPR. "Academic medicine has fostered a culture in which the sharing of our results is considered discretionary, rather than mandatory. And if researchers decide to pass on sharing, there is no consequence to them."
As it takes less than an hour to input clinical trial results to ClinicalTrials.gov, he says sharing results isn't that hard.
"There's no excuse for not reporting all results within two years of finishing a study," Krumholz adds. "And, I'd argue, the time should be much shorter. This is about taking science seriously and our commitment to move faster on behalf of patients and society."