MJA Insight comment
Cochrane review findings good news for clinical research
Reported in MJA Insight, CTC's Associate Professor Lisa Askie has commented
on recent findings published in a Cochrane Review "New treatments compared to established treatments
in randomised trials".
Excerpt below taken from the MJA Insight article.
Associate Professor Lisa Askie, who leads the systematic reviews
and health technology assessment team at the NHMRC Clinical
Trials Centre, said the Cochrane review's findings were
good news for clinical research.
"We know that if we didn't do the randomised trials, we
would have introduced many of these treatments into practice
believing that they were better, only to find out later that about
half of them were not better", Professor Askie told MJA
InSight. "That would be a hugely wasteful way to find out what
works and what doesn't work."
She said the findings also showed that the right
treatments were being tested in RCTs.
"We do really need to have uncertainty", Professor Askie
said. "We often have some preliminary evidence that one [treatment]
might work better than the other, but if we are genuinely uncertain
that it actually does we have to use a randomised controlled trial
design to test the treatments fairly - to get the truth."
There was also a message in the findings for research
funders and health policymakers, she said. "If we just use quite a
small percentage of the current health budget … to fairly test
treatments in trials, we can actually save millions in the long
Read the full article in MJA Insight here.