Tom Chivers’ piece for the Telegraph is well worth reading in full. He clearly explains why the AllTrials campaign – to force drug companies to publish all results of all clinical trials for all currently prescribed drugs – matters.
Financial incentives for pharmaceutical companies can easily drive them into making decisions that kill people – or, if you prefer, save fewer lives than they could, as if that’s different – by denying doctors the information they need to prescribe the best available drugs. So people die when they don’t need to. Registering and publishing all pharmaceutical trials would be an easy and obvious way of saving lives; the only reason not to do it is because companies make money from pretending drugs work better than they really do, and that doesn’t strike me as a good enough reason.
Today the Public Accounts Committee have called for action to address this scandal.