A new report compiled by the Commons Science and Technology Committee has identified that the results of approximately half of clinical drug trials remain unpublished.

The report summary observes that this trend ‘presents risks to human health, contributes to research wastage and means that clinical decisions are made without access to all the available evidence.’

As noted in The Times, this also represents a considerable waste of public money and a loss of potentially useful research outcomes.

As an example of the possible impact of such failings, the report refers to the £424 million of public money spent on the Tamiflu antiviral drug in 2009 by the UK Government without access to clinical studies results which questioned its efficacy.

The Committee is calling on the government to improve and enforce requirements on research institutions to provide complete transparency.

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