Missing Data From Clinical Trials May Skew Trial Results

Missing clinical trial data is a big problem that has not been discussed until recently. In cases where there is missing clinical trial data, statisticians do their best to control for this missing data. However, even with statisticians controlling for these missing data points, some assumptions need to be made about the outcome of the patient, which can introduce inaccuracies in the data and influence the credibility of the trial results. The National Research Council recently assembled a panel of experts to discuss ways to address and prevent missing clinical trial data. The panel identified a number of ways to help prevent missing data, including encouraging participants that have stopped taking a treatment to still participate in follow up visits, and shortening the follow-up period after the trial has ended. It’s clear that trial participation is critical for the success and accuracy of the trial, and ultimately for the safety of people who might be taking the drug in the future!

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