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July 9, 2008

Health Policy and Public Trust

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California; and David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine and UCLA School of Public Health, Westwood, California.

JAMA. 2008;300(2):211-213. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.35

Nearly every US newspaper on almost every day will include stories about health care in the United States. Many of these stories focus on the intersection of business or professional entities and trust. Can a study be trusted that compared drug A to a placebo or to drug B? Should research assessing the performance of one device compared with another be given credence? However, journalists rarely ask if research that examines the function and structure of the health care system with the goal of changing health policy should be believed.

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