Readers of this blog know that I frequently point readers to the work of John Ioannidis, MD, DSc, chief of the Stanford Prevention Research Center. Here are several updated items in the news:
A Stanford Med School blog published a piece, “Tropical disease treatments need more randomized, controlled trials,” citing an analysis published in the British Medical Journal of medical interventions for 16 tropical diseases. The authors found that, for most, there is little reliable evidence for the efficacy of one intervention versus another. According to Ioannidis:
“These 16 diseases have an enormous impact on health on a global level. More than a billion people are affected by them, and every year the disease burden from these diseases amounts to 57 million disability-adjusted life years. Although close to 1000 trials have been performed on different treatments for these diseases, they are are done one at a time and there is no coordination of the total research agenda that emerges.”
And Reuters Health reported, “Medicine rarely a slam dunk, despite splashy studies,” about a JAMA article Ioannidis co-authored and an accompanying editorial by Dr. Andy Oxman of the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services.