When researchers state goals for clinical trials in advance, success rates plunge

Around 2000, the U.S. government ordered researchers conducting clinical trials with federal money to announce ahead of time which medical question they were hoping to answer.

Before then, 57 percent of large-budget trials for cardiovascular disease attributed a positive effect to a drug or dietary supplement, according to a study published on Wednesday. After the new requirement, the success rate dropped to just 8 percent, the study found.