Busted! Scientists leave out data to produce bogus findings

Posted on January 5, 2012

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(NaturalNews) 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.”

In an editorial, Dr. Richard Lehman from the University of Oxford and BMJ Clinical Epidemiology Editor, Dr. Elizabeth Loder, nail the current state of medical research as a “culture of haphazard publication and incomplete data disclosure.” They call for full access to raw trial data to allow better understanding of the benefits and harms of many treatments.

Bottom line: when data is left out, the missing facts distort the scientific record and published results of a study. This then leads doctors to make potentially dangerous clinical decisions about what drugs or procedures patients need because the docs are relying on skewed and even bogus “evidence.”

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