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The results from more than one-third of late-stage clinical trials that tested multiple sclerosis drugs were never published in peer-reviewed journals — and studies with negative or inconclusive findings were more likely to remain unpublished, according to a new analysis.

Specifically, the study looked at 150 Phase 3 and Phase 4 trials and found that results remained for 54 were still unpublished, on average, more than six years after being completed. But a favorable primary outcome and reaching the planned sample size dramatically increased the chances of being published in a medical journal — by 12 and 42 times, respectively.


Yet the results of trials that explored whether a multiple sclerosis drug was more easily tolerated had a 99% lower chance of being published, compared with trials that evaluated medicines for mitigating the disease, according to the study, which appeared in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. The analysis looked at trials for multiple sclerosis drugs conducted between 2010 and 2019.

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