The TrialsTracker: Automated ongoing monitoring of failure to share clinical trial results by all major companies and research institutions
Goldacre B., Powell-Smith A.
© 2016 Powell-Smith A and Goldacre B. Background: Failure to publish trial results is a prevalent ethical breach with a negative impact on patient care. Audit is an important tool for quality improvement. We set out to produce an online resource that automatically identifies the sponsors with the best and worst record for failing to share trial results. Methods: A tool was produced that identifies all completed trials from clinicaltrials.gov, searches for results in the clinicaltrials.gov registry and on PubMed, and presents summary statistics for each sponsor online. Results: The TrialsTracker tool is now available. Results are consistent with previous publication bias cohort studies using manual searches. The prevalence of missing studies is presented for various classes of sponsor. All code and data is shared. Discussion: We have designed, built, and launched an easily accessible online service, the TrialsTracker, that identifies sponsors who have failed in their duty to make results of clinical trials available, and which can be maintained at low cost. Sponsors who wish to improve their performance metrics in this tool can do so by publishing the results of their trials.