Before any drug goes on the market, it usually takes several years of clinical trials to make sure that the drug is safe to use and is effective against the disease.
In reality, some drugs are better than others and many drugs have severe side effects in particular groups of patients.
Patients, doctors, researchers and policy makers often rely on the results of clinical trials to make informed decisions about which drugs are best.
For multiple reasons, only about half of all clinical trial results are published. Positive results are published twice as often as negative results. And very often not all important details about the methods and findings are published.
It is therefore exciting news that Open Knowledge announced the development of OpenTrials – an open, online database of information about the world’s clinical research trials.
Open Trials will collect information from different existing sources and provide a clear picture of the data and documents on all trials conducted on medicines and other treatments around the world.
The project is designed to increase transparency and improve access to research. It will be directed by Dr. Ben Goldacre (@bengoldacre), an internationally known leader on clinical transparency. You can take a look at his blog at www.badscience.net.
More information about this exciting project can be found on Open Knowledge blog.