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Understanding drug trials

More or Less
Monday, 7 April, 2008
BBC Radio 4, 1630 BST

BBC Radio 4's More or Less returned with a new series on Monday 7 April 2008.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) anti-depressants work little better than placebo according to a recent analysis of published and unpublished drugs trials.

The pharmaceutical companies have been accused of publishing the results of those trials that demonstrated the most positive results. But is that really true?

And is part of the problem our own inability to understand the statistics?

Lucky numbers

Our reporter Ruth Alexander looked at why so many of us attach special properties to certain numbers. Mathematician Marcus du Sautoy explains its Pythagorean roots and why we are predisposed to look for numerical patterns.

Plus, was a Treasury minister really correct to say the rich have been getting poorer since Labour came to power?

And do the number of people living outnumber the dead?

BBC Radio 4's More or Less was broadcast on Monday 7 April 2008 at 1630 BST.

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