In the May 2012 issue of The Scientist, Data Diving: What lies untapped beneath the surface of published clinical trial analyses could rock the world of independent review. Discusses the problem of missing data and how it affects the reliability of systematic reviews.
On the Scientific American website, a guest post by cardiologist and researcher Jalees Rehman, Open Science and Access to Medical Research. Rehman discusses the special challenges of sharing clinical research, including the need to maintain patient confidentiality and the need for independent institutions to interpret the data in an unbiased manner so that vulnerable patients are not misled or given false hope.
In the November 21, 2011 issue of the Medical Journal of Australia, Time to mandate data release and independent audits for all clinical trials, by Ian Haines and George Gabor Miklos. Here are the last two paragraphs:
Medical journals and their editors have a choice — to be viewed as “an extension of the marketing arm of pharmaceutical companies,” or to be beacons of transparent data processes that inform clinicians, improve patient treatment, and provide high standards on which governments, health care providers and patients can have confidence.
Medical journals should demonstrate strong leadership by mandating open access to detailed clinical trial protocols and de-identified raw study data. They should insist on independent audits of data, concomitant publication of an “accompanying abstract,” and lodgement of the data in independent databases; these three actions should be a precondition for publication. (citations omitted)
Finally, in Science Translational Medicine, Learning from Hackers: Open-Source Clinical Trials, by Adam Dunn, Richard Day, Kenneth Mandl and Enrico Coiera. Behind a paywall, but here’s a news article in Australian Life Scientist and a post on Dunn’s blog.