The value in a failed study

Anything which leads patients to think scientific studies are being gamed plays into the raving paranoia which sits just below the surface, leading to patients not following their doctors' advice and, as voters, turning against the industry.

Medical conspiracy videoI was always told, in science class, that there is no such thing as a failed experiment.

There are experiments which don't yield the results you expected, or predicted, or wanted.

But these may be more valuable than something that goes according to plan. It yields more questions, and questions are what science is about.

So we return to Vytorin, the ENHANCE study, and the whole question of statins. The problem here was not the result of the study, it was the way the results were handled.

Anything which leads patients to think scientific studies are being gamed plays into the raving paranoia which sits just below the surface, leading to patients not following their doctors' advice and, as voters, turning against the industry.

What we need is not a regulation of medical studies, but a guarantee that results, regardless, will come out in a timely manner, and be widely reported.

Everyone has a role to play in this. Medical journals. Government bureaucrats. Consumers. Writers at Web sites. And study sponsors, who need to understand that credibility is their most important asset.

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