The Whack Pack's Attack on Medical Progress

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  • 07/09/2007
The Journal of Life Science provides a great weekly brief of health care and medical innovation news and opinion. This week is no different.

What I find striking is that so many of the incremental advances in medicine -- those that will lead to more predictive and preventive care -- will depend on future investment to both test the validity and reliability of new information as real products. To quote Robert Solow many if not most innovations need to be embodied in new kinds of ..... equipment before they can be made effective. Improvements in technology affect output only to the extent that they are carried into practice either by net capital formation or by the replacement of old-fashioned equipment by the latest models…”

Of course, that process of commercialization requires profit, risk taking, marketing, industrial-academic relationships, patent protection. In short, everything need to make this world a better place through technological advancement most of what I will call the Whack Pack either opposes, makes money critcizing or suing.

Now nothing's perfect and change is constant. Compassion, trust and honesty should inform all social relations. But to suggest ridding science of commercialism will bring about a better and brave new world a word, whacky and dangerous.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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