The raison d'etre of this website is to provide you with hard scientific information which may help you make informed decisions in your quest for health (so far I have blogged concise summaries of over 1,500 scientific studies and have had three books published).

My research is mainly focused on the effects of cholesterol, saturated fat and statin drugs on health. If you know anyone who is worried about their cholesterol levels and heart disease, or has been told to take statin drugs you could send them a link to this website, and to my statin or cholesterol or heart disease books.

David Evans

Independent Health Researcher

Friday, 12 November 2010

Why drugs are not as effective - or safe - as the pharmaceutical industry are telling us

Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine October 18, 2010 vol. 153 no. 8 532-535

What's in Placebos: Who Knows? Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials
Beatrice A. Golomb, MD, PhD; Laura C. Erickson, BS; Sabrina Koperski, BS; Deanna Sack, BS; Murray Enkin, MD; and Jeremy Howick, PhD
University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, San Diego, California

This paper can be accessed at:

How do you know a drug is safe and effective? Because it’s tested against a placebo, or sugar pill, and you know it works if it significantly outperforms the dummy pill. But suppose the sugar pill isn’t as benign as we think – suppose it contains a chemical that makes even a bad drug such as a statin look good?

This study looks at the placebo, a method used in countless drug trials over the years. The researchers studied four of the major medical journals published in 2008 and 2009 – and discovered that hardly any trials listed the ingredients of the placebo.

As the composition of the placebo can have a big effect on a drug trial’s results, the researchers concluded its ingredients should be listed every time.

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