Category: Clinical Trials

Pharmacy shelf of priobiotics

Probiotics, revisited

New guidelines do not recommend probiotics for most gastrointestinal conditions.

/ July 9, 2020
Sneeze COVID

Is COVID-19 transmitted by airborne aerosols?

A recurring debate about COVID-19 bubbled up late last week, when a group of scientists announced an as-yet unpublished open letter to the World Health Organization arguing that COVID-19 transmission is airborne and urging it to change its recommendations. What is this debate about, and, if coronavirus is airborne, should we be more scared?

/ July 6, 2020

New Drugs for Sickle Cell Disease: Small Benefit, Large Price

The FDA has approved two new drugs to treat sickle cell disease. They don’t do much, and they are prohibitively expensive.

/ June 30, 2020

Do face masks decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission?

As wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 becomes a culture war issue, the evidence for whether they prevent transmission of COVID-19 remains contested. A new systematic review and meta-analysis provides the best evidence yet that social distancing and masks are highly effective at decreasing the risk of contracting coronavirus, while eye protection might also help, but it's not a slam...

/ June 8, 2020
COVID-19

COVID-19: Out-of-control science and bypassing science-based medicine

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there hasn't just been a pandemic of coronavirus-caused disease. There's also a pandemic of misinformation and bad science. It turns out that doctors today are just as prone as doctors 100 years ago during the 1918-19 influenza pandemic to bypass science-based medicine in their desperation to treat patients.

/ May 4, 2020
Hydroxychloroquine

Hydroxychloroquine and the price of abandoning of science- and evidence-based medicine

Based on anecdotal evidence early in the pandemic and then-unreported clinical trials, followed by hype and bad studies by French "brave maverick doctor" Didier Raoult, antimalarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine became the de facto standard of care for COVID-19, despite no rigorous evidence that they worked. A steady drip-drip-drip of negative studies has led doctors and health authorities to rethink and backtrack,...

/ April 27, 2020
Hydroxychloroquine

“Miracle cure” testimonials aside, azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine probably do not work against COVID-19

Here we go again. Didier Raoult has published another uninformative study looking at the use of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to treat COVID-19. Unfortunately, recent data examining these drugs have been trending in the direction of the conclusion that these drugs probably don't work against COVID-19 but do cause harm. Sadly, the lack of evidence hasn't stopped the hucksters from promoting hydroxychloroquine as...

/ April 13, 2020

Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin versus COVID-19: Grift, conspiracy theories, and another bad study by Didier Raoult

On Friday, Prof. Didier Raoult posted another study of azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine used against COVID-19. It is a single arm observational study of patients with mostly mild (or even asymptomatic) disease that is painfully uninformative with respect to the question of this treatment's effectiveness. That didn't stop America's Quack Dr. Oz and other grifters from touting Raoult's study, as well as a...

/ March 30, 2020

Are hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin an effective treatment for COVID-19?

Saturday morning, President Trump Tweeted a claim that the combination of azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine "have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine" and hoped that they be "put in use IMMEDIATELY" to treat COVID-19. His claims were based on a single clinical trial out of France. Unfortunately, although it is not implausible that...

/ March 23, 2020

Pitfalls in Research: Why Studies Are More Often Wrong than Right

Here is a course guide to episode 9, "Pitfalls of Research", of my YouTube lecture series on science-based medicine.

/ March 3, 2020