Controlled trials are universally touted as providing gold standard information on drugs. Doctors are routinely taught to disbelieve the evidence of their own eyes and trust in controlled trials instead. Governments in North America and Europe are forcing patients to participate in controlled trials — saying that you get better care in a controlled trial — and claiming that participation is also good for the health of the economy.
This belief that controlled trials are the only legitimate way to evaluate drugs is damaging healthcare and poses an increasing risk to everyone on medicines.
There is a tragic story behind this — the story of Louis Lasagna — the man responsible for the current glorification of controlled trials. Before he died he attempted to undo what he started. No one was listening. Will anyone listen now?
This lecture was delivered in Varese, Italy in June 2013. There is a lengthy question and answer session at the end.