Contest Entries

The Evidence Gap

Entrants: Staff

Affiliation: The New York Times

Large Newspapers (over 250,000 circ.) & wire services

Year: 2008

Place: Second Place

Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.

A team of science and business reporters was asked to find out how and why the United States spends so much on health care with such disappointing results. They discovered a gaping chasm between scientific evidence and the practice of medicine: in innumerable instances, no solid evidence can be found to justify the standard treatment.

Judges' comments:  When reporters looked into the medical care the American public receives, they found many instances of treatments that are unsupported, and in some cases contraindicated, by evidence-expensive tests that are no better than older or cheaper tests, experimental therapies with little basis, high-priced drugs with marginal benefits, bad hospitals impervious to forces that should shut them down. A first-rate job of digging, very nice writing.

Read "The Evidence Gap."

See the contest questionnaire about how the project was reported.