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Comments, Opinions, and Brief Case Reports
January 8, 2001

Systematic Reviews Neglect Safety Issues

Arch Intern Med. 2001;161(1):125-126. doi:

The concept of evidence-based medicine is as simple as it is compelling and has indisputably had a major influence on modern therapeutics. Evidence-based medicine aims to objectively evaluate all medical interventions with a view of translating this knowledge into routine medical practice and thus enhancing patient care. One of its most powerful tools to achieve this aim is the systematic review (SR).1 Systematic reviews, including meta-analyses, aim at impartially assessing the evidence for a given treatment and usually focus on efficacy or effectiveness. Yet safety data are equally important for evidence-based decisions about the value (or otherwise) of therapeutic interventions.

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