Random Clinical Trials Are Not The Only Answer To Identifying Effective Therapies

Npr.org: by STUART KAUFFMAN

Medicine in the United States is, in part, safeguarded by theFood and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA serves admirably as a protection against charlatans and ineffective treatments through the use of clinical trials that filter out dangerous drugs and identify safe, effective therapies.

The FDA’s work has a direct impact on health insurance coverages, including Medicare. The efficacy of its screening procedures are of intense importance. These procedures largely rest on double-blind, random clinical trials (RCT) that can yield statistically powerful evidence about the efficacy and safety of a drug.

In a forthcoming post I hope to discuss recent work with colleagues that starts to examine where random clinical trials fail, and what to do when that happens. This is a subject I touched on in my last post, “Should The FDA Rethink How It Runs Clinical Trials?”. Read more