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Re: rant about 'health' and stuff

Posted by alexandra_k on May 18, 2009, at 7:33:16

In reply to rant about 'health' and stuff, posted by alexandra_k on May 17, 2009, at 0:21:32

i mean there is asprin and lithium and penicillin... significant medical breakthroughs. and then there are the 50 squillion varieties on the market today where... it really is unclear... actually how effective they are (given that we simply don't know how many trials were performed in order to get studies that showed efficacy out).

one scientist estimated to me (that quite aside from anything to do with health research) only about 20% of studies that were done (data that was collected) made it to being written up (and submitted to journals - where many go on to be rejected and never appear). you simply do get data that is... put down to some kind of 'noise'. polluted samples or whatever and you have another go... people often do 3 or 4 studies as part of a PhD hoping they will get 'usable' data from at least one and hopefully two of those trials.

so the issue isn't really how many trials were performed in order to show efficacy... it is 'compared to non-medical science how many trials are performed in order to show efficacy'.

i dunno... 'randomized double blind control trials' as the 'gold standard' methodology for treatment is coming under a lot of critique. it isn't the best scientific standard... and saying that this form of trial produces data that is 'worth more' or 'trumps' other forms of methodology has pharma trumping alternative treatments such as therapy (for instance) since you simply can't do that double blind. i dunno...




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