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Meta-evidence and the evaluation of therapiesEvidence is mounting of systematic problems in medical research. Many therapeutic trials with negative findings go unpublished, while trials that are published often fail to be replicated. I call these kinds of research findings ‘meta-evidence’ because they are about medicine’s evidence base. Moreover, as I will argue these findings should be used as evidence in evaluating medical therapies, including in quantifying therapeutic effectiveness. This proposal goes against the dominant approach to evaluating therapies, which considers only characteristics of the particular therapeutic study. I will conclude by suggesting how meta-evidence might be used to evaluate and quantify therapeutic effectiveness.
University of Toronto