October 13, 2016
(NPR) – When doctors want to help untangle confusing and sometimes contradictory findings in the scientific literature, they often turn to specially crafted summary studies. These are considered the gold standard for evidence. But one of the leading advocates for this practice is now raising alarm about them, because they are increasingly being tainted by commercial interests. For many years, these studies — called meta-analyses and systematic reviews — seemed to solve a big problem. Doctors who had once relied on each other’s expert opinions to select the best treatments gradually turned to careful scientific studies instead.
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