Statistical Deception

    There is an old saying that “Figures don’t lie, but liars figure”.   At one time I had a copy of a book entitled “How to lie with statistics”.  It seems that Big Pharma has taken both concepts to the extreme in the way they interpret and promote the results of their drug trials.  

   This statistical trickery is accomplished by using ‘relative risk’ data in which one specific group is compared to another specific group rather than evaluating how an individual responds to the drug - ‘absolute risk’. 

    This magical technique enabled one drug company tout a 54 percent reduction in heart attacks when actually the reduction was less than 1%.

    Used in reverse, this statistical legerdemain also allows the cover up of any adverse effects of the drug.

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