Putting Trials on the Record

Peer-reviewed journals wield enormous power in the pharmaceutical industry. A study published in one of the more prestigious--the New England Journal of Medicine (N.E.J.M.), say, or the Journal of the American Medical Association (J.A.M.A.)--can make or break a new drug. But the journals are far from perfect. One big problem, says Dr. Drummond Rennie, a J.A.M.A. editor, is that "while journals are very good at evaluating the significance of studies sent to them, what they don't do well is evaluate what's not there."

And unfortunately, when it comes to data on clinical drug trials, there is a lot that's not...

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