Drugs

Effect Measure

Category archives for Drugs

Ending the War on Drugs

In the sixties one of the suggested exist strategies for the War in Vietnam was “to declare victory and get out.” Alas, it was the road not taken, increasing the length and depth of the tragedy for all concerned. For the War on Drugs, there is an even simpler solution: stop calling it a war.…

Johnson & Johnson gets it wrong

Just because a company got it right once doesn’t mean they’ll get it right all the time. Back in the day, one of the great crisis management success stories was was Johnson & Johnson’s handling of a case where someone intentionally introduced cynanide into on the shelf bottles of Tylenol in the fall of 1982…

Dispassionate kisses

Self medicating for mood disorders is well known. It is often quite harmful, with the chief culprits being ethyl alcohol and nicotine. But there are others. One that comes up often is chocolate as an antidote to feelings of depression. Not everyone who eats chocolate is depressed, of course. Probably most of us who do…

If there’s one thing I have a zero tolerance policy for, it’s zero tolerance policies. We see too many incredibly stupid implementations of rigid and mandatory policies (including mandatory sentencing), no matter how reasonable they sound when first advocated, to believe there should ever be policies that provide absolutely no flexibility. The world is a…

I’ve had occasion to remark a number of times how much of what is reported as “science news” is just warmed over press releases from university media departments or company flacks. I read them anyway, often sucked in my a headline that turns out to oversell the case. Now I’m becoming aware headlines can also…

Statins: through a lens clearly

We’ve written quite a bit about statins because there is evidence that these plentiful and cheap drugs may be useful in treating or preventing the innate immune system’s catastrophic dysregulation sometimes called “cytokine storm” (see here, here, here, here, here for a few examples). A new study now suggests that daily statin use by people…

[Previous installments: here, here, here, here] We’d like to continue this series on randomized versus observational studies by discussing randomization, but upon reviewing comments and our previous post we decided to come at it from a slightly different direction. So we want to circle back and discuss counterfactuals a little more, clarifying and adapting some…

Continuing our discussion of causation and what it might mean (this is still a controverted question in philosophy and should be in science), let me address an issue brought up by David Rind in his discussion of our challenge. He discussed three cases where a rational person wouldn’t wait for an RCT before taking action,…

I’ve noticed that whenever I have the temerity to suggest (e.g., here and here) that maybe the word of the Cochrane Collaboration isn’t quite the “last word” on the subject and indeed might be seriously flowed, I hear from commenters and see on other sites quelle horreur reactions and implications this blogger doesn’t believe in…

Flu vaccine safety

Any concerns about the current swine flu vaccine inevitably bring up the swine flu episode of 1976. This is not 1976. For starters, this year we have a bona fide pandemic and in 1976 the virus never got out of Fort Dix, NJ. That in itself is a game changer. If there are any risks…