Thursday, May 14, 2009

What can reality TV teach us about clinical drug trials?

Interesting article on
From the combined 17 seasons of ABC's The Bachelor and The Bachelorette—which regularly featured noisy declarations of on-air love—only a single marriage has emerged. Millions regularly tune in to Fox's American Idol, but the show that produced bona fide superstars Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood also crowned Taylor Hicks, who last year was dropped by his label, Arista. The Fortune 500 has yet to include a winner of NBC's The Apprentice, and Anna Wintour has not featured an America's Next Top Model victor on the cover of Vogue.

Though it may seem a stretch, the lessons of reality TV can help us understand why, for example, many parents recently were told—with the suddenness of Jason Mesnick's dumping his fiancee Melissa Rycroft on the last Bachelor finale—that a large federal study contradicted its initial findings and concluded that drug treatment for attention deficit disorder had no benefit in children who were followed for six to eight years. These results put into question the widespread use of stimulants like Ritalin and Concerta, which were prescribed roughly 40 million times last year, and led to an acrimonious public debate among the study's co-authors.
(Click on the link above for the full article.)

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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