Anecdotal evidence


Interesting timing, given that I’ve had a couple of rants (gotta stop ranting!) on this very topic. The ADHD drug Strattera, which has been approved by the FDA and other regulatory agencies, has been linked with suicidal thoughts. Warning labels have been updated on the basis of 11 cases.

bq. It was important for parents to be aware that it can occur and to discuss any unusual symptoms with their child’s doctor.

That would be Eli Lilly, the drug’s manufacturer, saying that people should take responsibility for their on healthcare and that of their children.

Now, let’s ask those 11 families. Which evidence is more important? Anecdotal or clinical trial?

Should Strattera be taken off the market? Should we use herbal remedies instead of Strattera? Let me quote Serge King:

bq. The whole point of healing is to get healthy, not to prove a method. Use what works for you.

And if this runs afoul of the “pragmatic fallacy”:http://skepdic.com/pragmatic.html, then so be it.

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One Response

  1. […] Pat Sullivan, Jr. discusses in some recent posts the roles of different types of medical evidence. First, let me get an issue out of the way concerning the definition of “anecdote,” since it seems to get in the way. From Sullivan’s entry: […]

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