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Westlaw Journal Pharmaceutical: The Legal Significance of Statistical Significance



NEW YORK, May 1, 2012 -- In a recent issue of Westlaw Journal Pharmaceutical, Baker Botts L.L.P. Partner Zach Hughes wrote about how courts have long struggled to reconcile the concept of statistical significance in epidemiological studies with the burden of proof required in a court of law.

This issue came to the forefront again in 2011 in Matrixx Initiatives v. Siracusano and Merck & Co. v. Garza, Hughes stated in the article. On the surface, these two courts reached opposite conclusions on the legal signifi-cance of statistical significance, with the U.S. Supreme Court downplaying its importance in Matrixx and the Texas Supreme Court reaffirming an earlier holding that statistical significance is a threshold issue for evaluating scientific studies in Garza.

But a closer look at the questions being asked in these cases helps reconcile the facially differing answers they gave.

The complete Westlaw Journal Pharmaceutical article is available here.

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