Getting it right: being smarter about clinical trials

Kramer BS, Wilentz J, Alexander D, Burklow J, Friedman LM, Hodes R, Kirschstein R, Patterson A, Rodgers G, Straus SE. Getting it right: being smarter about clinical trials [A major NIH meeting led to recommendations for conducting better clinical trials]. PLoS Med 2006;3:e144.
 Excerpt: Concerns about adverse events, including deaths, in recent large clinical trials, both publicly and privately sponsored, prompted Elias A. Zerhouni, Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH) to convene a meeting at the NIH on January 11-12, 2005, to discuss “Moving from Observational Studies to Clinical Trials: Why Do We Sometimes Get It Wrong?” (a detailed summary and video archive of the meeting are available here ). It is time for an ‘M and M’ [Morbidity and Mortality] conference [on medical evidence], Zerhouni said at the meeting. He challenged attendees to develop innovative ideas to aid decision and policy making, commenting that the credibility of the scientific enterprise was at stake. Forty percent of science news relates to health or medicine, he noted, and we are seeing a gradual erosion of public trust.   Free Full Text  


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