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In 1996, David Sackett defined evidence-based medicine (EBM) as the ‘conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients’.1 In the UK over the following years, and thanks to the extraordinary efforts of pioneers like Andrew Herxheimer (DTB’s founding editor), Sir Muir Gray, Professor Sir Mike Rawlins and Professor Jim Petrie, many barriers to accessing evidence on healthcare interventions were demolished. As a result, valuable resources were created, or contributed to, that facilitated unrestricted access to current best evidence. Such resources included the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, the Cochrane Library, the National electronic Library for Health, the National Prescribing Centre, the UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) evidence search service. At the same time, NICE and the NHS invested heavily in developing and publishing systematic reviews to ensure …
Competing interests None declared. Refer to the online supplementary files to view the ICMJE form(s).
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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