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Current published literature has exploded with reports of therapeutic successes in small case series with little regard for the standard research rigor that is typically applied given the constraints of our current global pandemic. In this commentary, Dr. Anthony Fauci and co-author Dr. H. Clifford Lane outline the dangers of trusting the results from small observational cohorts without proper management of confounders. They highlight the importance of large-scale, organized clinical research trials to rapidly determine therapeutic efficacy of treatments in question, potentially saving many lives now and in the future.
Although this is a chaotic time, it is not advisable to try any and all possible therapies in a haphazard manner. It is paramount to gather useful and ultimately decisive data during this pandemic to capitalize on the opportunity to prove effective therapies in hopes of controlling this devastating illness.
– Kolene Bailey, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
The current literature on the treatment of coro-navirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is filled with an-ecdotal reports of therapeutic successes in clini-cal trials with small numbers of patients and observational cohort studies claiming efficacy with little regard to the effect of unrecognized confounders. For the field to move forward and for patients’ outcomes to improve, there will need to be fewer small or inconclusive studies and more studies such as the dexamethasone trial now reported by the RECOVERY Collaborative Group1 in the Journal.