I have an analytical nature and appreciate evidence-based decisions, especially when it comes to health, wellness, and medicine. Modern medicine has made amazing strides forward, but human beings are so hard to study in the wild that, in many ways, medicine remains an art as well as a science.
Science needs information to progress and when information is withheld, suppressed, or ignored because it is disappointing, progress slows. When medical trials are not published, the lost information can set us back, and in medicine that can hurt people in an immediate way. That’s why I’ve been watching http://www.alltrials.net/, a European effort to require all human trials to be published, even if the results make the sponsors unhappy. Their web page says:
“It’s time all clinical trial results are reported.
Patients, researchers, pharmacists, doctors and regulators everywhere will benefit from publication of clinical trial results…
Thousands of clinical trials have not reported their results; some have not even been registered.
Information on what was done and what was found in these trials could be lost forever to doctors and researchers, leading to bad treatment decisions, missed opportunities for good medicine, and trials being repeated….
Europe voted for clinical trial transparency 2nd April 2014. It’s soon going to be the law in Europe that drug clinical trials are publicly registered and results reported.”
Especially when government funds are involved, I think this should be a requirement; but faithfulness to science should lead all trials to be published. I hope this idea will spread.