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Avandia: the holes in “evidence-based” medicine

Attacking alternative therapies like homeopathy is an unhealthy distraction from serious shortcomings in how drugs are regulated

By Jerome Burne   September 2010

In a 1664 diary entry, Samuel Pepys noted that he was feeling in unusually good health and wondered why. Was it because he’d taken to wearing a hare’s foot around his neck? Or maybe it was the pill of turpentine he swallowed every morning?

Today we, theoretically, no longer have to wonder about such things. There is a vast clinical trials industry designed to test and prove the efficacy of pharmaceutical cures for our afflictions. Establishing an evidence base is now as central to medicine as democracy is to our politics or credit to banking.

But the fanatical application of…

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