News & AnalysisNewsmaker Interview: Deborah Zarin

Unseen World of Clinical Trials Emerges From U.S. Database

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Science  08 Jul 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6039, pp. 145
DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6039.145

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In 1997, Congress created a registry of clinical trials—then expanded it in 2007, asking researchers to submit a summary of results to a public Web site. The number of studies likely to be registered was a complete unknown, and no one had any idea if the results would be informative, says Deborah Zarin, who directs the database at the National Institutes of Health, called But to date more than 108,000 trials have been registered, and results have been posted for more than 3600. Most intriguing, Zarin says, the data are revealing a whole "world of clinical trials" never seen before. Zarin discussed the database recently with Science.