Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo in medicine.
Now that Burzynski has gotten off in 2012, Burzynski The Movie will spawn a sequel in 2013 (David Gorski) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/burzynski-movie-spawns-a-sequel/ The Texas Medical Board’s case against Burzynski was dismissed on a technicality. He continues to abuse the clinical trial process and to offer patients “antineoplaston” and “personalized, gene-targeted” treatments. A new movie can be expected to fawningly repeat the typical Burzynski blather. Meanwhile, patients are dying after wasting huge sums of money on useless treatments.
Fun With Statistics (Harriet Hall) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/fun-with-statistics/ Statistics is the essential foundation for science-based medicine, but it is confusing and frequently misunderstood. In the book Dicing with Death, Stephen Senn educates us about statistics while entertaining us with anecdotes and laugh-out-loud humor.
Support Science-Based Medicine (Steven Novella) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/support-science-based-medicine/ The Science-Based Medicine blog is approaching its 5 year anniversary. Dr. Novella reviews its accomplishments and future plans and solicits financial donations and volunteer help from supporters with special skills.
What does a new drug cost? Part II: The productivity problem (Scott Gavura) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/what-does-a-new-drug-cost-part-ii-the-productivity-problem/ Estimates of what it costs to bring a new drug to market range from $43 million to $1.5 billion. Drug development is risky, it’s getting harder, and the productivity is declining, in part because the low-hanging fruit has already been picked. Estimates are problematic, and many factors must be considered.
Andrew Weil Flirts with Evidence Based Medicine (David Weinberg) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/andrew-weil-flirts-with-evidence-based-medicine/ Dr. Weil believes cranial osteopathy cures ear infections in children. The study he designed to test that hypothesis showed that cranial manipulations had no effect. Instead of accepting his own results, he said “I’m sure there’s an effect there. We couldn’t capture it in the way we set up the experiment.” and he continues to recommend the treatment.