Fools Gold(acre)

  • by: |
  • 02/05/2013

Sins of omission are seldom fun, and (per Health Care’s Trick Coin, NYT, 2/3/13), Ben Goldacre makes a number of serious mistakes – specifically the claim that the registration requirement in FDAAA isn't implemented and that only full transparency/publication of clinical trial will address the issue. As the former senior government official in charge of, it’s important to look at the facts – and the numbers.

In 2000, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched to provide public access to information on clinical studies.  Although it initially contained information primarily on NIH-funded research, it has been expanded to include both publicly and privately supported clinical research. 

Since the launch of the site, it has been enhanced to significantly increase data sharing. The database includes information on nearly 140,000 clinical trials in all 50 states and 182 countries. 

Is anyone accessing this wealth of information? Yes!  The NIH reported last year that “receives more than 95 million page views per month and 60,000 unique visitors daily.

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. Mr. Goldacre should realize that reality, although sometimes inconvenient to ones argument, remains reality.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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