“Number Needed to Treat” Statistic in the Wild–IV
Excellent description of why the “number needed to treat” is important (from the header of the graphic):
How well do drugs work? Ads and news stories usually say that a medicine slashes the risk of, say, heart attacks by a big number, like 50%. But that often overstates the benefit, because it fails to provide the absolute risk. If only 2 people in a group of 100 are expected to have a heart attack, then a drug that cuts the rate by 50% prevents just 1 heart attack when taken by all 100 people. That’s why researchers favor using the “number needed to treat” (NNT). It shows how many people must take a drug for one person to benefit.