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Selective clinical trial reporting is a threat to society at large

Posted by DrRajivKumarGmchChandigarhIndia on 23 Feb 2022 at 07:51 GMT

It is good to read a research article on “Selective publication of antidepressant trials and its influence on apparent efficacy: Updated comparisons and meta-analyses of newer versus older trials” and we appreciate the authors for this informative article.
The authors rightly pointed out the limitation of this study (medicines belonging to one class and the small number of trials included).

Selective clinical trial reporting is not a new problem, this is unethical as well as unscientific, a threat to society at large. There is reporting bias of clinical data because unpublished data are less positive than published data and may bias results if unpublished data are not included [1].
There is publication bias, in scientific meetings - presentations are usually available in conference proceedings as abstracts, and ‘positive' results were more frequently published in full publication of abstracts. Publication bias creates problems for those relying on the published literature for evidence or those conducting systematic reviews / meta-analyses [2].
Publication bias was repoted in four major medical journals (BMJ, JAMA, Lancet, and PLOS Medicine) [3].
Authors of Cochrane reviews searched for unpublished data, and nearly half of authors who searched for unpublished data obtained useful information, mainly from trial investigators [1].
The better evidence in clinical trials are required according to recommendation [4] , for the benefit patients and society at large.

Dr.Rajiv Kumar, Dr.Sangeeta Bhanwra.
Faculty, Department of Pharmacology,
Government Medical College and Hospital Chandigarh-160030, India.
2. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Apr 18;(2):MR000005
3. Kicinski M. PLoS One. 2013; 8(11):e81823.

No competing interests declared.