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The results from a number of clinical trials aren't made public, writes Stephanie Wykstra at Vox. She argues that failing to do so can be hazardous for public health.

According to Wykstra, a law in the US that requires the results of some clinical trials to be made public often isn't followed. While some results are published in journals, she says that between 25 percent and 50 percent aren't published. Likewise, she points to an analysis by Stat News that found that 74 percent of registered trials conducted by industry were reported late or not at all, and that that figure went up to 90 percent for academic trials.

While Wykstra says some of the delays and non-reporting in that case may be due to confusion about which trials have to report their results to the US Food and Drug Administration, she argues that there's also a culture that tolerates it. The agency, for instance, hasn't fined late-or non-reporters, she says.

"One reason to care about whether clinical trial results are shared is that hundreds of thousands of patients have put themselves on the line as research subjects," Wykstra writes. "We owe it to them not to let the information their participation enabled get stuck in a file drawer."