[R] Use of R in clinical trials
Bill.Venables at csiro.au
Bill.Venables at csiro.au
Thu Feb 18 09:13:05 CET 2010
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think Peter is being a bit harsh on SAS.
I prefer Greg Snow's analogy (in the fortune collection): If SPSS (or SAS) and R were vehicles, SPSS would be the bus, going on fixed routes and efficiently carrying lots of people to standard places, whereas R is the off-road 4WD SUV, complete with all sorts of kit including walking boots, kayak on the top, &c. R will take you anywhere you want to go, but it might take you longer to master it than the simple recipes for data analysis typical of the 'bus' programs.
CSIRO/CMIS Cleveland Laboratories
From: r-help-bounces at r-project.org [mailto:r-help-bounces at r-project.org] On Behalf Of Peter Dalgaard
Sent: Thursday, 18 February 2010 5:55 PM
To: Frank E Harrell Jr
Cc: r-help at r-project.org; Cody Hamilton
Subject: Re: [R] Use of R in clinical trials
Frank E Harrell Jr wrote:
> How amazing that SAS is still used to produce reports that reviewers
> hate and that requires tedious low-level programming. R + LaTeX has it
> all over that approach IMHO. We have used that combination very
> successfully for several data and safety monitoring reporting tasks for
> clinical trials for the pharmaceutical industry.
There is a point to it, though. One of my friends and colleagues in the
business put it in one word: Mediocrity.
SAS does a mediocre job at analysing and reporting and data handling
using a mediocre control language. But: It can be handled by mediocre
programmers writing and modifying mediocre programs, and those people
are more available and replaceable, maybe even cheaper. R/LaTeX may run
circles around SAS in terms of capapilities, flexibility, and elegance,
but it can also send a programmer who doesn't have the required skill
set running around in circles.
> Cody Hamilton wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> There have been a variety of discussions on the R list regarding the
>> use of R in clinical trials. The following post from the STATA list
>> provides an interesting opinion regarding why SAS remains so popular
>> in this arena:
>> -Cody Hamilton
O__ ---- Peter Dalgaard Øster Farimagsgade 5, Entr.B
c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics PO Box 2099, 1014 Cph. K
(*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen Denmark Ph: (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - (p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk) FAX: (+45) 35327907
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