FDA's forthcoming guidance on the design and conduct of meta-analyses should help the agency determine when to dedicate resources to reviewing such studies or using them as the basis for regulatory action. But to prevent flawed studies from causing public health crises, medical journals will need to adopt quality guidelines for publishing meta-analyses, as well.

FDA intends the guidance to provide a consistent framework for designing, analyzing, reporting and interpreting meta-analyses conducted by companies or FDA, as well as any unrequested meta-analyses submitted to FDA by third parties.