Bad Medicine, Part 1: (Drug) Trials and Tribulations

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Birth defects resulting from thalidomide led medical researchers to exclude women of child-bearing age from clinical trials. (Photo: AP/flickr)

Season 6, Episode 26

This week on Freakonomics Radio: We tend to think of medicine as a science, but for most of human history it has been scientific-ish at best. Stephen J. Dubner looks at the grotesque mistakes produced by centuries of trial-and-error, and asks whether the new era of evidence-based medicine is the solution.

Plus: sometimes the only thing worse than being excluded from a drug trial is being included in it.

To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “Bad Medicine, Part 1: The Story of 98.6” and “Bad Medicine, Part 2: (Drug) Trials and Tribulations.”

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