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One of my friends (referred to as the patient) holds a Ph.D. degree in statistics and has been affected with a common skin condition for more than 20 years, known as rosacea (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001882/). Here we report how he came with a solution to fully eliminate the problem. Physicians traditionally agree that there is no cure for rosacea.
This study involves only one patient. But typically, clinical trials involve a very small number of patients, and data related to clinical trials is known as "small data", as opposed to "big data". It makes statistical inference much more complicated. On the plus side, the patient has tested and tried many solutions over a period of 20 years, while exhibiting very traditional symptoms getting slightly worse over time but almost under control, when using traditional medecines.
This is not a story about how the pharmaceutical industry is producing useless medications. The patient was actually cured in three days with a drug manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceutica, a drug typically used for vaginal infections. However, it is a story about how the pharmaceutical industry, indirectly, forces you to buy expensive drugs all your life ($200/year) when they have a 3-day solution (one-time $20 expense) to eliminate the problem. In this, it is possible that the pharmaceutical industry was not able to make a link between rosacea (impacting both men and women) and fungal infections mostly impacting women.
To summarize, the patient (male) started recently to notice a worsening of his skin condition (on the nose, skin, and forehead) with new symptoms that looked similar to a fungus problem elsewhere (penis), which was responding very well to Monistat, a drug typically used to cure fungal infections in women (vaginal condition). The new symptoms involved skin scaling and skin bumps that look very similar to his other problem cured by Monistat. The rosacea was cured in three days with Monistat.
Note that over the course of 20 years, doctors prescribed the following medications, which managed to keep the skin condition under control, but not cure it:
Any comments on this true story are welcome. If you want to get in touch with this patient, let me know.