|What secrets lie inside?|
Well, I'm at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) meeting in San Diego right now, and it certainly does feel like people - everyone - is trying to sell me something. From the giant industry sponsored banners, to the emblazoned tote bags, to the bags of propaganda left at my hotel room door every morning, to the exhibitor hall filled with every manner of new and fancy gadgets (but closed to cameras), to the investigators themselves, everybody is trying to convince me to buy (or prescribe) something. Especially ideas. Investigators have a promotional interest in their ideas. And they want you and me to buy into their ideas. I have become convinced that investigators without industry ties (that dying breed) are just about as susceptible to sell side bias as those with industry ties. Indeed, I have also noted that the potential consumer of many of the ideas himself seems biased - he wants things to work, too, and he has a ready explanation for why some ideas didn't pan out in the data (see below). It's like an epidemic of scientific Stockholm Syndrome.
The first session I attended was a synopsis of the SAILS trial by the ARDSnet investigators, testing whether use of a statin, rosuvastatin, in patients with sepsis-incited lung injury would influence 60 day mortality. The basis of this trial was formed by observational associations that patients on statins had better outcomes in this, that, and the other thing, including sepsis. If you are not already aware of the results, guess whether rosuvastatin was beneficial in this study.