Jack M. Gwaltney, Jr., MD
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Gwaltney JM. Where's the Bias?. Ann Intern Med. 1998;128:75. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-128-1-199801010-00025
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1998;128(1):75.
TO THE EDITOR:
The answer to the question posed in Dr. Davidoff's editorial, “Where's the bias?” , which concerned the study by Mossad and colleagues  on zinc lozenge treatment of the common cold, is that there is reason to believe that the participants were not properly blinded because of a faulty placebo. The reasons for this conclusion were carefully outlined in a previous letter to Annals . That letter should not be dismissed as providing “little criticism” to the scientific quality of the study. Inadequate blinding, if present, is a serious fault in a clinical trial in which effective blinding is a necessary component of the experimental design. Other problems with the design of the study were discussed in the previous letter.
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