AAFP Joins Drive For All Clinical Trials to Register, Report Results

July 29, 2015 02:47 pm Chris Crawford
[Male and female researchers working in laboratory]

Hundreds of thousands of patients in the United States have taken part in clinical trials that have never reported their findings. As a result, information from these trials -- the good, the bad and the ugly -- could be lost forever, leading to missed opportunities to educate physicians in the treatment of their patients and to researchers repeating trials because there was no record of their completion.

This issue led to the launch of the AllTrials USA(www.alltrials.net) campaign on July 29, which is calling for all past and present clinical trials in the United States to be registered and report their results. The AAFP has joined with the other medical societies, universities, patient support groups and consumer groups in support of the overarching AllTrials(www.alltrials.net) initiative that a group of clinicians, researchers and patients launched internationally in January 2013.

In addition to the Academy, U.S. supporters include the American College of Physicians, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Students Association. Since 2013, AllTrials has received international support from almost 600 professional societies, academic institutions and patient groups, and 85,000 members of the public.

Story highlights
  • The AAFP has joined the AllTrials USA campaign that launched on July 29, which is calling for all past and present clinical trials in the United States to be registered and report their results.
  • In addition to the Academy, U.S. supporters include the American College of Physicians, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Students Association.
  • Since 2013, AllTrials has received international support from almost 600 professional societies, academic institutions and patient groups, and 85,000 members of the public.

"In order to truly practice evidence-based medicine, we have to have all the available data at our fingertips," Jennifer Frost, M.D., medical director for the AAFP Health of the Public and Science Division, told AAFP News. "Unfortunately, that's not our current reality. By teaming up with AllTrials, we are taking a stand for greater transparency, and in effect, better patient care."

AllTrials USA is led by the nonprofit organization Sense About Science USA,(www.senseaboutscienceusa.org) which is a branch of the British charitable trust Sense About Science that works to promote the value of scientific research, evidence and transparency.

Steven Woloshin, M.D., M.S., professor at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine in Hanover, N.H., is an advocate for the AllTrials campaign who explained in a news release that reporting trial results is as important as reporting the results of a political election.

"Imagine there was an election," Woloshin said, in the release. "Would you trust the results if only half of the votes were reported? Imagine if the winner of the election was the one who decided which half of the voting was reported. That would be crazy, but that’s what the situation is when trials are not reported."

AllTrials has already seen some success, including from its advocacy for the new European Union law(www.alltrials.net) that starting in 2016 will require all drug clinical trials in member countries to be publicly registered and report their results.

Trevor Butterworth, director of Sense About Science USA, said in the news release that the world is "moving, inexorably, toward data transparency and collaboration. AllTrials is not just on the right side of history, it’s getting us there."

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