Is There A Cure For Missing Research?

In his new book, Bad Pharma, Ben Goldacre exposes the shady side of the drug industry:

The best currently available evidence, which is from a systematic review of all the studies ever done on this question, which amounts to dozens, shows that about half of all clinical trials that are for the treatments we use today have never been published. It also shows that trials with positive results are about twice as likely to be published as those with negative results. This means the evidence that we use is incomplete, but it’s also systematically distorting and exaggerating.

For that situation to have arisen in the first place should be extraordinary enough. But we’ve known about it since at least the 1980s and we’ve failed to fix it. We’ve failed several times over. Every set of regulations, legislation, codes of conduct and so on that have been tried have failed. And worse than just failing, they’ve delivered false reassurance that the problem has gone away, so we’ve stopped trying to fix it. And that’s the position we’re in today.

Read an excerpt from the book here.