On Fri, 03 Jan 2020 20:24:04 +0000, "Peter Duncanson [BrE]"
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE] Post by J. J. Lodder Post by Ken Blake Post by firstname.lastname@example.org
1) In clinical tests versus placebo, this medication has been proven to
2) This medication has been proven to be effective in clinical tests versus
Are the above sentences grammatical?
Are they idiomatic?
Does 'versus placebo' modify 'clinical tests' in both of them?
All of these sentences are very poor. It makes no sense to say "clinical
tests versus placebo." If a placebo is used, it is used as part of a
clinical test, not as something opposed to it.
Exactly. A placebo is not some kind of medication.
Post by Ken Blake
You could say something like "This medication versus a placebo has been
proven to be effective in clinical tests."
Still poor. It is hopeless I guess,
you can't build a good sentence to express muddled thinking.
Something like: 'This medication has been proven to be effective in
controlled clinical tests' should be enough,
The problem with that is that it doesn't distinguish between a clinical
trial using a placebo as the control and one using an existing
The UK's National Health Service website has a description of clinical
trials. It is aimed at the public, in particular potential participants.
Part of this page says:
Control groups, randomisation and blinding
If you take part in a clinical trial, you'll usually be randomly
assigned to either the:
* treatment group – where you'll be given the treatment being
* control group – where you'll be given an existing standard
treatment, or a placebo if no proven standard treatment exists
While the treatments are different in the 2 groups, researchers try
to keep as many of the other conditions the same as possible.
For example, both groups should have people of a similar age, with a
similar proportion of men and women, who are in similar overall
In most trials, a computer will be used to randomly decide which
group each patient will be allocated to.
Many trials are set up so nobody knows who's been allocated to
receive which treatment.
This is known as blinding, and it helps reduce the effects of bias
when comparing the outcomes of the treatments.
The last section on that page starts:
Coverage in newspapers
You'll often see stories about research findings in mainstream
But while news stories are easier to read than original research
papers, sometimes the findings are exaggerated or sensationalised.
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE] Post by J. J. Lodder
The fact that the controlled testing must have been double-blind
isn't mentioned either,
Peter Duncanson, UK