Unfortunately, some have interpreted Numbers Needed to Treat as indicating the proportion of patients on whom the treatment has had a causal effect. This interpretation is very rarely, if ever, necessarily correct. It is certainly inappropriate if based on a responder dichotomy. I shall illustrate the problem using simple causal models.
One also sometimes encounters the claim that the extent to which two distributions of outcomes overlap from a clinical trial indicates how many patients benefit. This is also false and can be traced to a similar causal confusion.