When the government that controls funding and therefore what is researched mandates where results have to be published, people taking the money have to comply. Thus it makes sense that clinical trial results as mandated by government may be different than trials results as mandated by various journals
Clinical trials, most of which are funded by industry and required to be so by government regulations, are reported different in journals and on the government website ClinicalTrials.gov, which requires data for specific categories that journals do not.
An Oregon Health&Science University analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine highlights some differences. The authors looked at 110 medical trials that had been completed by Jan. 1, 2009 and that had been reported on ClinicalTrials.gov. Congress required that after September 2008, many clinical trials of drugs and medical interventions report their results at the website. They
looked only at trials completed by 2009 to allow for the clinical trial results to be later published in medical journals but other studies of this kind have done the same thing for an obvious reason; the disparities will be more obvious.
Of the 84 clinical trials the researchers looked at where a "serious adverse event" was reported on the government website, 33 of those trials reported fewer adverse events in the medical journals than they had reported to the government website. In 16 of those cases, no adverse events were reported in the journals. The OHSU researchers allege inaccurate and biased reporting in medical journals, which smacks a little bit of an academic land grab - the discrepancies even among their hand-picked trials were small and did not affect the statistical significance of the results. Or they just want to endorse the government website
When it came to deaths related to clinical trials, the government website's restrictions and format led to deaths being underreported and inconsistently reported compared to journals. 17 percent of the trials that did not report deaths on the government website did report them in the journal article on the trial. ClinicalTrials.gov does not have a uniform way of reporting deaths and that can lead to inconsistencies.