Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Clinical trial data

The true lorcainide story

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 28 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h287
  1. Iain Chalmers, coordinator1
  1. 1James Lind Initiative, Oxford OX2 7LG, UK
  1. ichalmers{at}

In 1993, Cowley and colleagues reported a controlled trial of the anti-arrhythmic drug lorcainide in heart attack.1 Nine men allocated to the drug had died versus only one man allocated to placebo.

This trial had been completed in 1980. It was eventually reported when the authors saw that it could have provided warning of what, by then, had become clear—that anti-arrhythmic drugs were more likely to be lethal than helpful.

I often use this example to emphasise the importance …

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