Toxic Train

  • by: |
  • 06/18/2007
No, not Thomas the Tank Engine.

The toxic train referred to herein is the one leaving the station on comparative effectiveness.

Or as Jill Wechsler of Pharmaceutical Executive writes, "The comparative-research bandwagon is gathering steam in Washington health-policy circles."

Except that a bandwagon doesn't "gather steam" -- it gathers hangers-on.

But choose your metaphor, it's a free country.

Gathering steam? Perhaps. Generating a lot of hot air? Definitely.

Two sample paragraphs to whet your interest:

"The danger is, of course, that effectiveness studies could be used to limit coverage and treatment options to low-cost products. And additional research requirements for sponsors could be costly. Prospective studies cost hundreds of millions of dollars and are vastly different from relatively low-cost retrospective data reviews, points out health economist Bryan Luce of United BioSource at a March seminar on comparative-effectiveness research sponsored by the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest."

"Variations in patient response to treatments and the desire to link provider payments to quality measures speak to the need for more valid comparative healthcare information."

Here's a link to the article:

Comparative Effectiveness. The wrong train leaving the station in the wrong direction.

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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