What are the aims appropriate for a science of clinical pharmacology and clinical trials: to test drugs for efficacy and safety in the clinic, to establish the optimal effectiveness and safety of drugs in patient care or both? Current designs of clinical trials test drugs for efficacy and safety in clinical settings-they do not address the clinicians problems adequately. Clinical trials better address the effectiveness of drugs in patient care with analyses to determine drug effects for each individual in the trial. We use current standards and designs for clinical trails supplemented to control random error effects for the individuals in the trials. Test-retest standard error of measurement can control random error effects for individuals. This allows individual clinical courses to be plotted with known precision and certainty. For individuals in a clinical trial the clinical course of surrogate outcome variables can be associated with long-term health outcomes in followup to develop clinical decision rules. Clinical courses on surrogate outcome variables during patient care can be interpreted using these clinical decision rules. In this Age of the Internet, Computers and Handhelds, electronic records and interpretations of clinical examinations and tests can be a part of decision making for every patient. We conclude that practical methods are available for making clinical trials more informative for clinical practice. This modification replaces “unsystematic clinical judgments” with statistically characterized data and interpretations for individuals available as care is delivered in the doctors office. An AD demonstration can be viewed at www.healthpragmatics.com.
Keywords: alzheimers disease, disease management, clinical trials, standard error of measurement, confidence interval of measurement, guidelines
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