AP Science Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Earlier this fall Dr. Scott Solomon presented the results of a huge heart drug study to an audience of fellow cardiologists in Paris.
The results Solomon was describing looked promising: Patients who took the medication had a lower rate of hospitalization and death than patients on a different drug.
Then he showed his audience another number.
“There were some gasps, or ‘Ooohs,’” Solomon, of Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, recalled recently. “A lot of people were disappointed.”
One investment analyst reacted by reducing his forecast for peak sales of the drug — by $1 billion.
The number that caused the gasps was 0.059. The audience was looking for something under 0.05.
What it meant was tha