This year, a Danish researcher named Peter Gøtzsche said his analysis of two studies showed there's no evidence that Alpha-1 augmentation works.
This month, two researchers analyzed the same studies and said they show that augmentation works exactly as it's supposed to -- it slows loss of lung tissue.
Those are the same, exact studies. And these conclusions are as exactly opposite as I can imagine.
Who you gonna believe?
Well, the Alpha-1 Foundation blasted Gøtzsche and said his review was so flawed it might ruin the reputation of the Cochrane Library, which published it.
The big underlying fear is that health insurance companies might jump on Gøtzsche's conclusion and refuse to pay for augmentation, which is expensive.
The new analysis, published in the journal Respiratory Research, is by British Professor Robert Stockley, MD, who is on the Foundation's Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee, and Danish Professor Asger Dirksen, who was the lead author of the only two studies being discussed here.
Talecris Biotherapeutics paid for the analysis published in Respiratory Research, and for one of Dirksen's original studies. Talecris manufactures Prolastin-C, the dominant augmentation therapy.
Just about everybody except Gøtzsche agrees we really need a bigger study to settle this question.
As for me, I'll keep on sticking myself once a week.