Side Effects

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5 Things to Know Before Starting a New Drug

(Paul Wilson/Flickr)

(Paul Wilson/Flickr)

Say you were worried about having a heart attack. Which drug would you rather take:

  • Magic Drug A: reduces your risk of a heart attack by 50%
  • Magic Drug B: reduces your risk of a heart attack by 1%

Presumably, you’d pick Magic Drug A.

But, what if you found out Magic Drug A and Magic Drug B were really the same drug?

Huh? How can that be? It has to do with something Graham Walker, an emergency department physician at Stanford, calls “statistical trickery.” Continue reading