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Jay

Please clarify your last sentence. It would seem that GSK is pretty hosed.

Kaiser

Jay: GSK's spokesman is "worried" that the new studies do not have the same credibility as their own clinical trials. I'm sure he/she is very worried about the prospect of Avandia! Sorry - the tongue in cheek doesn't translate well on line.

J

You should probably qualify your statement about sample sizes; a meta-analysis across studies involving 200k people total is not the same as one study of 200k people (I guess in theory they could be equivalent, if each study was conducted exactly the same - but that's not really a "meta-analysis").

The takeaway is that large sample sizes doesn't (always) trump design considerations.

Kaiser

J: agree that larger sample size is not always better. However, in this case, I believe that the spokesman is setting up a straw man. There are practical limitations to how large the sample size could be for a clinical trial. If multiple trials are available, a meta-analysis can help pool the information. It's by no means foolproof but I'd believe the pooled analysis of 56 trials more than the one trial GSK deems to be "well-designed".

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