A few months ago I posted about a new website that could help you find the Number Needed to Treat, aka the NNT.
How many people need to be treated with a drug or procedure before one person is helped? That’s the NNT.
It’s a tool I wish more patients and physicians used. Medical interventions should be limited to those that are proven to work for more people than not.
That seems like a pretty simple aim, doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised how many commonly used treatments are either useless or do more harm than good.
Aaron Carroll, MD, over at the Incidental Economist put together another great health care video that does a good job explaining the NNT as well as the terms “relative risk” and “absolute risk.” Be informed—there is an important difference between these two values when deciding how useful a treatment will be to you.
The more patients and doctors can work together to eliminate drugs and treatments of poor value, the greater our chance of improving our health and lowering health care costs.