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March 16, 2005

Evaluation of Suspected Adverse Drug Reactions—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2005;293(11):1324-1325. doi:10.1001/jama.293.11.1324-b

In Reply: I strongly agree with Drs Hauben and van Puijenbroek that true signals should emerge from clinical judgment and that statistical algorithms, such as PRRs,15 should be used as supplements to clinical and epidemiological judgment, not replacements. I also agree that the value of statistical algorithms even in that role remains unproven. Unfortunately, however, statistical algorithms are too often used alone, in publications and in the courtroom, as if they represent analyses useful for hypothesis testing, which is inappropriate.

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