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Is it really that malicious? Of course either way the result is the same, but I seeing some corporate actions I would expect that people are simply reassigned from failing trials and there's noone left to finish. If there's no incentive to publish the result and the producer doesn't get anything from it, why would they continue? It's not even malicious or stupid - it's just business as usual.

Providing some incentive that applies even when the study is not continued would be great. But the only thing I can come up with is escrow for some sum of money until the results are sent in. But that's also an incentive for fabricating any results once it's known that the trial is going to fail.

If a clinical trial is failing, and the corporation decides to reassign people, then the scientists involved still have an obligation to publish a result, even if that result is a short note saying "we broke the blind and the test results are useless".

The notion of having to register early in a study is an excellent one. In a perfect world, the FDA should interpret an unpublished clinical trial as "EVERYONE WHO TOOK THIS DRUG CAUGHT FIRE AND DIED" and factor that in to the decision to approve or deny a potential drug/device/methodology.


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