Re: capitalist religion

From: Smigrodzki, Rafal (SmigrodzkiR@MSX.UPMC.EDU)
Date: Wed Jul 18 2001 - 16:55:20 MDT

Alex Bokov wrote:

>I agree that the medical industry would be better off with less
>regulation, but there must be an open, public accreditation standardhat is
controlled by the consumers-- a combination of >standardized
>exams for practitioners and summaries of what has been observed about
>the effects of every existing drug and intervention in a language
>readable by the lay public. This can be a private effort, and a

I would agree with first part of this paragraph (curbing the power of the
FDA, making their approval a non-binding accreditation, awarding a seal of
approval, rather than the compulsory application for the right to market and
use) but I also think that gathering information about the efficacy of drugs
would do poorly without governement funding - there are some types of
information, like the results of extensive clinical trials, (e.g. WARSS, a
recent comparison of aspirin and warfarin in stroke) which are extremely
expensive to obtain, in the range of hundreds of thousands to millions of
dollars per each letter of the study recommendations (which is a one-liner
"Aspirin is better", with a few qualifications added). Such costs cannot be
recouped once the results are public ( how could you charge for using this
one-line sentence in decision-making?), and if they are not public, then
they are useless. In the absence of charities capable of outspending the
NIH, government involvement in the procurement of such results is essential.

Rafal Smigrodzki MD-PhD
Dept Neurology University of Pittsburgh

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