Friday, 5 June 2009

NICE infiltrated by Berties

As they say on teh interwebs, quoted for truth:
First the MHRA lets down the public by allowing deceptive labelling of sugar pills (see here, and this this blog). Now it is the turn of NICE to betray its own principles.
If NICE does not reconsider this guidance, it is hard to see how it can be taken seriously in the future...
David Colquhoun on NICE, low back pain, and the Woo-sters here, here, and here.

I think D^2 has an interesting, but ultimately flawed take on it:
Similarly, in the early days of the evidence-based medicine movement, when they were the Young Turks or punk rockers, shaking up a complacent medical establishment that had got out of touch with the cutting edge of medical research, they had the potential to do a lot of good. But now they are the establishment, and as a result of that, the very evidence that they rely on, is shaped by the fact that it needs to appeal to them. The fact that a movement which begun by trying to bring science back into medicine, has now ended up putting its imprimateur on some obvious pseudoscience, ought to worry us more than it does, because this is only the most obvious manifestation of the general problem.
I think he is wrong here, in fact I'm not even sure exactly what he's trying to say is the institutional weakness of Evidence Based Medicine - the strength of EBM is that it has relatively objective and impartial methods to decide questions like this - which is why this failure to adhere to those standards has caused such outrage.

Also, see the guy in the comments lamenting that these EBM enthusiasts have no way to combine data from multiple trials and other misapprehensions.

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