45% of those surveyed say doctors "should be allowed to decide which prescription drug treatments to use with their patients regardless of what diseases they have or have not been approved for by the FDA," compared with 46% who said this shouldn't be allowed.
Frighteningly, nearly two-thirds say they would agree to prohibit off-label prescribing unless it is part of a clinical trial, while 28% wouldn't support such limitations. Attention must be paid â€“ this is the slippery slope that the Apostles of Evidence-based Medicine would have us follow â€“ to disastrous consequences.
Fortunately, when put into the appropriate perspective, Americans don't want to hamper innovation. 55% believe that if doctors aren't allowed to prescribe freely that it will be much more difficult to find new and innovative ways to treat diseases vs. 35% who disagree.
More than two-thirds believe drug companies shouldn't be â€œallowed to encourageâ€ off-label use vs. 12% who disagree and 20% who aren't sure. Perhaps a better way to have framed that question would have been to have asked if drug companies should be â€œallowed to share valid clinical informationâ€ about off-label use?
One wonders if the pollsters screened out as respondents patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, etc. and their family members. And, if not, how that segment answered the questions.
For that we do not need a research project â€“ we need a robust Critical Path program.