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Federal mandate for publishing clinical trials wasn't enforced

illustration of a doctor holding an electronic file
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Federal officials are doing little or nothing to enforce a 2017 law that requires drugmakers and researchers to log their clinical trials into a federal database, according to an investigation published in Science.

Why it matters: The law was designed to give the public, along with outside researchers, more access to information about drugs' safety and efficacy.

The findings: Researchers failed to comply with these disclosure mandate about 55% of the time, leaving the results of 4,700 trials unpublished.

  • "Missing or late results offer potentially vital information for the most desperate patients," Science's Charles Piller writes.

Go deeper: Drugmakers opt to mine medical data in lieu of lengthy clinical trials