Annals of African Medicine
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 97-100

Randomized controlled trials: Ethical and scientific issues in the choice of placebo or active control


1 Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaduna State University/Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital, Kaduna, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, Endocrine and Metabolism Unit, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika, Zaria, Nigeria
3 Department of Medicine, Endocrine and Metabolism Unit, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Muhammed Sani Ibrahim
Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/aam.aam_211_16

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The use of control group in clinical trials has been universally acclaimed by researchers to effectively help discriminate between the actual effects of an intervention and those arising from other factors. However, the choice of the control that provided both scientific and ethical acceptability among researchers has been a source of intense debate. We conducted a literature search on the use of placebo and active controls in clinical trials and X-ray the arguments for and against both choices in randomized control trials and concluded by highlighting the scenarios where the use of placebo is justified.


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