Yes, Clinical Trials Work

Simply Statistics: July 15, 2013

This saturday the New York Times published an opinion pieces wondering “do clinical trials work?“. The answer, of course, is: absolutely. For those that don’t know the history, randomized control trials (RCTs) are one of the reasons why life spans skyrocketed in the 20th century. Before RCTs wishful thinking and arrogance lead numerous well-meaning scientist and doctors to incorrectly believe their treatments worked. They are so successful that they have been adopted with much fanfare in far flung arenas like poverty alleviation (see e.g.,this discussion by Esther Duflo); where wishful thinking also lead many to incorrectly believe their interventions helped. Read More