Keith Humphreys pours cold water on the miracle drug hype:
Like everyone else, I constantly see headlines that the cure for some dread disease has been discovered. On those occasions when journalists interview me about such stories, I have a habit of dispensing cold water. For example, a few years ago, a small clinical trial seemed to show that anti-depressants helped meth-addicted people to stop using drugs. This is what I said to an excellent health reporter, Erin Allday, about the findings:
“There have been quite a few bombs pharmacologically…those earlier experiences have taught me to be cautious now.”
Being skeptical about miracle cures is simply playing the odds.
Then, he reports research on the the latest medical marijuana “miracle”:
You may have heard for example dramatic anecdotes “proving” that high-CBD marijuana cures seizures in children. Sounds great, but as more data were gathered by neurologist Dr. Kevin Chapman “the miracle” took a beating:
Dr. Chapman’s study, which involved a review of the health records of 75 children who took CBD, found that 33% of them had their seizures drop by more than half. However, 44% of the children experienced adverse effects after taking CBD, including increased seizures. Of the 30 patients whose records included the results of brain-wave tests, a less subjective measure of seizure activity, only three showed improvements in those exams.
“It really wasn’t the high numbers we were hoping for,” Dr. Chapman said.
No one who understands medicine will be surprised by this result.