Little secret of medicine

little secret of medicine 12 May 2008 There is a statistic which doctors do not talk much, despite its enormous importance. It’s called Number needed to treat (NNT), a measure developed in the last 20 years which is one of the best kept secrets in medical statistics. The purpose of the NNT is simple enough: most clinical studies investigating how much better patients using a particular drug, but the NNT measure resolves the question: how many people must take a certain medication to avoid the appearance of a health impact (for eg how many people to have some medicine to prevent a heart attack ). If the drug has an NNT of 50 for heart attacks, then 50 people should use the drug to avoid one single stroke. Measuring NNT not really like a large number of doctors and pharmaceutical companies, so they tend to keep the measurement NNT forgotten and wider use population statistics. But this may change if you ask your doctor to report the NNT the next time you’re out a prescription. Source: Time Effectiveness of antidepressants under scrutiny 08 May 2008 The effectiveness of a dozen popular antidepressants has been exaggerated by selective publication of favorable results, according to a review of unpublished study submitted to the Food and Drug Administration of USA. (FDA). The deletion of adverse information has distorted the view of doctors and patients on such drugs.SE accentuate the positive, is ignored NEGATIVE A study submitted to FDA reports: Of 74 studies reviewed by the FDA, 38 were judged as positive and 36 negative. Only one was published. Most of the studies with negative or equivocal results were not published. Source: The New England Journal of Medicine. As a result, doctors and patients have a distorted view about the effectiveness of such popular drugs like Wyeth’s Effexor and Zoloft Pfyzer, the researchers said in this week’s edition of The New England Journal of Medicine. Given the vast amount of published information about these drugs shows that they are effective, doctors unaware of the unpublished information, are taking inappropriate decisions are not conducive to the benefit of their patients, according to researchers led by psychiatrist Erick Turner of the University of Oregon Health and Sciences.Sales of antidepressants are approaching a total of 21.000 billion a year, according to the company IMS Health. Pfyzer Wyeth and declined to comment on the results of the studies. Both companies said they intended to disclose the results of all studies, although not necessarily in medical journals. GlaxoSmithKline, maker of Wellbutrin and Paxil, said the results have placed more than 3,000 studies involving more than 82 drugs on its website and also provide information about ongoing research in 1060 a Web site of the federal government. Schering-Plow Corp. whose Organon Corp. unit markets Remeron drug, and Eli Lilly Co., which makes Prozac, said the results of their studies it was published – not individually, but as part of larger medical articles, combining information on more than one study at a time.The study of the New England Journal of Medicine posted a clinical trial as published only if it was the sole subject of the article.

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