A new article out of PLoS Medicine (December 6, 2013) provides some good reasons for adding ClinicalTrials.gov to the list of resources consulted routinely for evidence-based treatment decisions:
Riveros, C., et al., Timing and Completeness of Trial Results Posted at ClinicalTrials.gov and Published in Journals. PLoS Med, 2013. 10(12): p. e1001566.
Access at: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001566
The authors compared the reporting on clinical trials of drugs in ClinicalTrials.gov with corresponding journal publications for timeliness of publication and completeness (flow of participants, efficacy results, adverse events, and serious adverse events) of posted results. Reporting in ClinicalTrials.gov was significantly more complete than in the published journal articles.
Accessing drug information from ClinicalTrials.gov may help address potential publication, reporting, and time-lag biases that have been identified in journal literature, thereby supplementing information gathering for evidence-based practice. ClinicalTrials.gov is “designed to complement, not replace, the journal publication” because results are presented as tabular data, without interpretation, and are not peer-reviewed (Zarin, Tse, Williams, Califf, & Ide, 2011, page 3).
Zarin, D. A., Tse, T., Williams, R. J., Califf, R. M., & Ide, N. C. (2011). The ClinicalTrials.gov results database–update and key issues. N Engl J Med, 364(9), 852-860. doi: 10.1056/NEJMsa1012065.
Links to Resources:
ClinicalTrials.gov website: http://clinicaltrials.gov/
For help with finding information in ClinicalTrials.gov, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Try searching for a drug by name in DailyMed, and then link to related ClinicalTrials.gov information from the menu on the left side of the page.