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February 1962

Evaluation of Drugs

Arch Otolaryngol. 1962;75(2):97. doi:10.1001/archotol.1962.00740040103003

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The clinical trial of drugs is of the greatest importance in improving medical practice. No matter how carefully a drug may be studied chemically, in tissue culture, or in lower animals, the final test of its efficacy must be made in human beings. Physicians are constantly called upon by drug companies to conduct such trials. Unless considerable thought is given to the planning of such trials before they are begun, the results are apt to be quite meaningless. Frequently, the editor of the Archives receives reports in which a single drug only is given to a number of patients. Criteria for improvement are so vaguely defined that no basis for comparison with other methods of treatment exists. The conclusion of such reports usually consists of a plea for further study of the drug and an expression of enthusiasm with just enough constraint to preserve professional dignity. Such reports amount to

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