London, UK – April 19, 2013 – The Cochrane Collaboration, the international not-for-profit organization that produces systematic reviews of healthcare evidence and the largest database of randomized controlled trials, published online in The Cochrane Library, has today formalized its commitment to theAllTrials: All Trials Registered | All Results Reported initiative to campaign for the registration and reporting of all clinical trials.
The AllTrials campaign aims to draw attention to the crisis of unreported trial data. Hundreds of thousands of clinical trials have been conducted from which no or limited data have been made available; data critical to enabling doctors and regulators to make informed decisions about which treatments to use and fund. This is a serious problem for evidence-based healthcare researchers including The Cochrane Collaboration, because all the evidence about a treatment is needed to understand its risks and benefits. Without a complete picture of trial results available, information is lost; bad treatment decisions may be made; financial investment into ineffective treatments are approved by governments and regulators; opportunities for better and more effective treatment are missed; and trials are repeated unnecessarily, duplicating effort and wasting resources.
AllTrials was launched in January 2013 by Ben Goldacre, bestselling author, broadcaster and medical doctor, whose exposé on scientific inaccuracy Bad Science (2008) reached #1 in the UK paperback non-fiction charts; along with the charity Sense About Science; the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine in Oxford; the James Lind Initiative; and the BMJ.
In the three months since its inception, AllTrials has gathered more than 47,000 signatures for its petition calling on governments, regulators and research bodies to implement trial registration and reporting measures; as well as the support of hundreds of organizations and institutions working in research, patient advocacy and health care. The Cochrane Collaboration was one of the earliest organizations to offer support, and to further demonstrate its commitment to the goals of the AllTrials initiative, has today formalized its involvement as one of the initiative’s principal supporters and organizers.
Mark Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of The Cochrane Collaboration: “Patients around the world are being harmed because clinical decisions on their health care are skewed by the absence of clinical trials data. For 20 years The Cochrane Collaboration has been working to give clinicians, researchers and patients the best possible evidence-based information to help them make informed decisions, and it is a scandal that we still do not have access to all trials data so that we can be confident in our conclusions. Already many of Cochrane’s thousands of contributors and supporters worldwide have signed the AllTrials petition; I am therefore delighted to formalize the organization’s support for the AllTrials initiative.”
Tracey Brown, Managing Director of Sense About Science: “We are also delighted to have The Cochrane Collaboration helping to steer the AllTrials campaign. They know very well the struggles that researchers go through to get the clinical trial results they need to produce reliable high-quality reviews. Cochrane has networks of researchers and policy-makers in 120 countries. Their influence and experience is particularly important now that the AllTrials campaign has started to take off internationally.”
Dr Ben Goldacre, author of Bad Pharma: “It’s great that The Cochrane Collaboration has become one of the principal supporters of the AllTrials campaign. We need all the information about the effects of medicines, to make informed decisions about which is best. We’ve known about the problem of publication bias for three decades, and failed to fix it. We are working with Cochrane to act globally, to protect patients' best interests and to make medicine genuinely evidence-based.”
For more information and resources, and to sign the petition, please visit the AllTrials website. To make a financial contribution to support the campaign, please visit the AllTrials fundraising page.
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