How to Interpret New Data

  • Robert P. Heaney


A physician tries a new bone active agent in his practice; his patients seem to improve and he is enthusiastic. Another, trying the same agent, sees little patient improvement, but notes serious drug side effects, and becomes convinced that the drug is more trouble than it is worth. Both are wrong, as the Hippocratic maxim suggests. It is impossible to say how much of the difference between the two experiences is due to placebo effects, to variations in the biological makeup of the patients concerned, or simply to random chance.


Placebo Osteoporosis Bisphosphonates Calcitonin 


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Suggested Reading

  1. Heaney RP. (1996) Design considerations for osteoporosis trials. In: Marcus R, Feldman D, Kelsey J (eds) Osteoporosis. Academic Press, San Diego pp. 1125–1142.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert P. Heaney

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