The number one selling drug in America is Lipitor. Here’s the details about the number needed to treat*:
- 98% will see no benefit
- 0% will be helped by being saved from death
- 1.6% will be helped by preventing a heart attack
- 0.4% will be helped by preventing a stroke
- 0.6% will be harmed by developing diabetes*
If that is the best we can do for a drug you take every day for five years, what is the “number needed to treat” for having a “high quality” doctor with whom you spend less than one hour a year with and 8,765 hours without?
* “The Number Needed to Treat” is “the number of patients that would need to undergo a particular treatment over a specific time period in order to see their health improve beyond what would have happened had they done nothing or had they undergone a different treatment.”