Steven Marcus, Reuters, Less Effective Drugs?
The effectiveness of new drugs -- as measured by published clinical trials comparing the response of patients taking those treatments to those taking a placebo -- has declined significantly since the 1970s, according to a new study co-authored by LDI Senior Fellow Steven Marcus. Originally published in Health Affairs, the study is the subject of a nationally distributed Reuters article that points out that in earlier decades, clinical trials in the top medical journals reported that the drugs were, on average, 450% as effective as a placebo. But by the 2000s, clinical trials in the same journals were reporting that the drugs were just 35% more effective than a placebo. Marcus, an epidemiologist and statistician, is a Research Associate Professor of Social Work at Penn's School of Social Policy & Practice.