Resolution 11-S16. Increasing the Transparency and Completeness of Clinical Trial Results when Presented to the Media

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(Sponsor: District of Columbia Chapter)

WHEREAS, the ACP is an organization that believes in the importance of clinicians providing their patients with expert and useful medical advice; and

WHEREAS, many patients receive much of their "medical education" through the news media (newspapers, television, and internet); and

WHEREAS, patients expect their physicians to be up to date on new medical developments and to be in a position to implement expeditiously new medical care interventions that they learn about through the media which may benefit them; and

WHEREAS, press reports appearing in the media from studies such as SPRINT (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial) potentially affect medical care decisions involving millions of Americans; and

WHEREAS, often such press reports do not provide enough detailed information to allow clinicians to judge the validity or applicability of the results to their specific patients; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Board of Regents calls upon institutions supporting studies whose results potentially affect the medical care of large numbers of Americans to increase the transparency and completeness of clinical trial results when presented to the media and require investigators to make available online or in print at the time of initial press release enough details of their studies that clinicians can offer their patients educated and appropriate advice about the material included in press releases; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Board of Regents prepares and potentially publishes a position paper considering the ethics of investigators releasing study results potentially affecting the medical care of large numbers of Americans without providing adequate information at the time of press release to allow clinicians to evaluate such studies adequately.