Monday, July 05, 2010

Therapeutic inertia or appropriate skepticism?

Bob Morrow over at the Transparent Medical Practice blog always seems to come up with something provocative. The other day he was questioning the notion of therapeutic inertia. That's a construct that's been used to describe underutilization of evidence based therapies, often pharmacologic. Bob wonders if it's just a drug company pitch.

OK, look. It doesn't have to be either/or. It's been well documented that many life saving therapies (heart failure drugs and pharmacologic DVT prophylaxis to name a couple) are vastly underutilized, resulting in needless suffering and loss of life. Increase doctors' adherence to best practice, patients benefit and, yes, the drug companies are happy. Nothing inherently wrong there.

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