Professor Paul Glasziou
Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine
After my medical training when I was doing clinical work, I was interested in how we answer uncertainties in medicine. I serendipitously discovered that clinical trials were the best way to answer our everyday clinical questions.
Medicine mostly doesn't advance through breakthroughs - they're really important, but really rare. Mostly medicine advances in little steps. The clinical trials allow you to guide those little steps that eventually add up to a big advance. But if you don't have the clinical trials, you can't tell which new treatment is the real advance, and which is going backwards.
We have to get all health professionals to be engaged in the idea that clinical trials are a necessary component of all healthcare. So at all levels of the healthcare system, we can make improvements. That improvement is not just about drugs, it's about the choices in management and the choices in the organisation of care. All of those can be assessed through clinical trials.