Letters

Numbers alone cannot determine rational treatment

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6975.330 (Published 04 February 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:330
  1. Patrick Vallance
  1. Senior lecturer in clinical pharmacology Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, St George's Hospital Medical School, London SW17 0RE

    EDITOR,—In the Editor's Choice in the issue of 12 November meta-analysis is embraced with enthusiasm as a means of determining effective treatment and solving therapeutic dilemmas. This approach should form part of the armamentarium of those interested in rational prescribing and seems to ensure that data from patients who have given up time and exposed themselves to risk by participating in clinical studies are used to full advantage. But how reliable are meta-analyses?

    Recently it has been possible to compare the results of meta-analysis with those of a …

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