Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
An Insider’s Guide to Clinical Trials$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Curtis L Meinert

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199742967

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199742967.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 October 2021



(p.165) 19 Re-Search
An Insider’s Guide to Clinical Trials

Curtis L. Meinert

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the factors behind the conflicting results of clinical trials. The fact is that truth in medicine is elusive and fleeting. That which is “truth” today is passé tomorrow. The tried-and-true method of coming to what we accept as “truth” in science is by replication. However replication, in the strict sense of usage, is impossible in trials. No two trials are the same. The enrollment criteria will differ, the data collection schedules will differ, the treatment protocols will differ, even the treatments may be different. Hence, a single trial that reproduces a positive result seen in a previous trial is not sufficient to establish the value of that treatment. It takes multiple trials, usually spanning a period of years if not decades. There is no “trial master” in the sky. There is nobody to ensure a stream of trials until a consensus view develops. Nor is there anyone to shut off trials once the “answer is in.” Replication becomes duplication when the answer is in. But, when is that point reached? There is no bright line of demarcation.

Keywords:   clinical trials, medical research, treatment, truth, replication

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .