Question: A An advertisement by Schering Corp in 1999 for the

a. An advertisement by Schering Corp. in 1999 for the allergy drug Claritin mentioned that in a clinical trial, the proportion who showed symptoms of nervousness was not significantly greater for patients taking Claritin than for patients taking placebo. Does this mean that the population proportion having nervous symptoms is exactly the same using Claritin and using placebo? How would you explain this to someone who has not studied statistics?
b. An article in the medical journal BMJ (by M. Petticrew et al., published November 2002) found no evidence to back the commonly held belief that a positive attitude can lengthen the lives of cancer patients. The authors noted that the studies that had indicated a benefit from some coping strategies tended to be smaller studies with weaker designs. Using this example and the text discussion, explain why you need to have some skepticism when you hear that new research suggests that some therapy or drug has an impact in treating a disease.

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