Busted! Scientists leave out data to produce bogus findings

Jan 07, 2012 by
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Clinical trials of drugs and other medical therapies are carefully carried out and are the very gold standard of scientific proof, right? According to an in-depth review of this question just published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ,) the answer is no. In fact, the BMJ is sounding the alarm that data reported by scientists is too often not the truth — because the researchers leave out inconvenient evidence.

 

The result of facts-gone-missing could well be harming patients, spiking up healthcare costs by the selling of medical treatments based on bogus findings, and threatening the very integrity of medicine.

 

These warnings come from multiple papers released by the BMJ. The whistle-blowing authors of these articles examined the extent, causes, consequences of hidden facts, figures, and other data scientists discover as they do human trials. It turns out this is no “once in a while” kind of problem, either.

 

The BMJ claims a “large proportion of evidence from human trials is unreported, and much of what is reported is done so inadequately.”

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