Consumer beware: NIH database of cost-free-trials includes numerous ‘for a fee’ tests

The 16-year-old [ClinicalTrials.gov] website is the most comprehensive such database publicly available in the United States, with listings for nearly 220,000 clinical studies in the United States and abroad. It does not independently vet those listings, however, or require trial sponsors to disclose potential costs.

The site’s lack of transparency is a growing concern, in part because of the surge in stem-cell research and in clinics offering unproven, high-priced treatments, said Leigh Turner, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics.

“It’s not just a handful of patients who are encountering these kind of so-called studies on ClinicalTrials.gov and not just a handful of studies,” he said. “It is a bigger problem than that.”

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Critics worry that some people seeking to participate in clinical trials may be desperately sick or in pain and vulnerable to requests for money they don’t have. These patients see the “.gov” domain and the NIH imprimatur as stamps of approval that mean the research is legitimate, they say.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Want to enroll in a clinical trial? NIH database is huge — but lacks a few key details

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