Monday, February 16, 2009

What will the stimulus bill mean to health care?

Dr. Anonymous has a great post on the stimulus package. He wrote:

The other article which has good information on this is from the Wall Street Journal. The writer is Alicia Mundy and the article is entitied, "Drug Makers Fight Stimulus Provision." According to the article, "$1.1 Billion in research funding would be doled out to the National Institutes of Health and other government bodies." Did you read that closely? It said government entities.

This is in reference to comparative effectiveness research (CER). We need more CER. (For a favorable look at CER by DB read here and here). Perhaps the more relevant question is whether such clinical research is best done by the government. The most notable example of government sponsored CER is ALLHAT. ALLHAT is also a notable example of agenda driven research, faulty design and inappropriate spin, every bit as much as you’ll find in pharma sponsored research.

Dr. Anonymous goes on:

The grassroots opposition to this is a coalition called the "Partnership to Improve Patient Care" which includes "lobbying arms of drug, device, and biotechnology industries as well as patient-advocacy groups and medical-professional societies." (I can just imagine the press saying things like patients and docs have gotten in bed with big pharma - yeesh).

A more egregious example of corruption in government sponsored research, while not comparative effectiveness research, is the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy. Which reminds me. I bet the NCCAM is one of those “other government bodies” in line for a piece of that stimulus pie!

Can anyone make an evidence based case that we should trust big guvment over big pharma?

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