Monday, November 17, 2008

Take it, it's good for you

Recently the public prints ballyhooed a study purporting to show that taking a drug called Crestor would significantly improve health. The study was sponsored by AstraZeneca, which just happens to be the company that produces Crestor. The pill costs $3.50/day, and the subtext of the newspaper stories seemed to be that all God's children, or at least those of a certain age, should be taking it, each one contributing better than a thou a year to AstraZeneca's coffers. The 2blowhards have some interesting commentary on the study, including a link to one Michael Eades, a skeptical MD. Eades writes, in part:
Although the relative risk numbers in this study appear to be correct, you’ve got to realize that these are small numbers we’re talking about. Out of almost 18,000 subjects there is a difference of not quite 50 deaths between the two groups during the years over which the study took place. Which means, of course, that neither subjects in the placebo group nor subjects in the Crestor group were at great risk of dying. There is a difference, but in these small numbers … it is almost meaningless.

A small maybe gain for a huge outlay of money. Read all of the Eades observations here.I appreciate that Eades may be turning a crank of his own, but his post is worth considering. There are also links to a couple of other doubters. The press has a habit of gullibility when presented with anything emitting from a lab. Skepticism is a good habit of mind in this world.

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