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As part of pandemic preparation, in the early 2000s many countries amassed large stockpiles of the influenza neuraminidase inhibitor Tamiflu. Tony Hisgett/Flickr

Controversies in medicine: the rise and fall of the challenge to Tamiflu

One of the biggest recent controversies in medicine involves the effectiveness of the antiviral drug Tamiflu. Governments have stockpiled the drug but many have raised doubts about its usefulness.
A small experiment won’t identify even a large effect as significant while a big experiment is likely to see even a worthless effect as statistically significant. 8 Eyes Photography Flickr

Mind your confidence interval: how statistics skew research results

“Most patients using the new analgesia reported significantly reduced pain.” Such research findings sound exciting because the word significant suggests important and large. But researchers often use the…
Systematic reviews help consumers, practitioners and policy makers identify what works. Kenny Holston 21/Flickr

How do we know what works? Systematic research reviews

We work at the Australasian Cochrane Centre and we dread being asked what we do for a living. This isn’t because we don’t like what we do, in fact we love it. It’s because when we explain that our job…

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