Close(d) Encounters

  • by: |
  • 03/20/2008
Did you see the house editorial in today’s New York Times, “Countering the Drug Salesmen”?

Here’s the link:

The editorial supports planned legislation by Senators Herb Kohl, Democrat of Wisconsin, and Richard Durbin, Democrat of Illinois that would authorize federal grants to prepare “objective” educational materials designed to provide physicians with “unbiased” guidance on the safety and effectiveness of drugs. Such materials, along with a government-funded “counter-detailing” force are meant to offset the one-sided sales pitches America’s physicians get from pharmaceutical company representatives. The Times believes that, “The end result should be better care, quite often at lower cost.”

The Times shares the hope of Senators Kohl and Durbin that this government-funded scheme “would pay for itself by lowering drug costs to federal programs.”

Perhaps, but at what cost to patient care? And what about the fact that “unbiased” and “objective” are in the eyes of the beholder?

Clearly pharmaceutical companies detail because they believe it is in the interest of both the public health and their own commercial imperatives. Nothing wrong with that. Self-interest and public interest are not mutually exclusive.

But it’s only honest to point out that the government has significant self-interest too – Uncle Sam is the largest “payer” in the nation. So the more drugs these government-funded workers classify as "wasteful," the more money the government saves. Such a conflict is hardly" unbiased.”

Ultimately, as the European model has shown time and again, budget analysts and Big Brother-funded anti-pharmaceutical “truth squads” will deliver the findings their “funders” wants to see -- that newer, pricier pills are no more effective than their older, cheaper counterparts. And the result will be the same as well -- Medicare, Medicaid, and the Department of Veterans Affairs will stop covering these more innovative medicines, forcing physicians to prescribe only the drugs that the government will pay for, not the ones that are best for patients.

That’s what “government” care really delivers.

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.

Blog Roll

Alliance for Patient Access Alternative Health Practice
Better Health
Biotech Blog
CA Medicine man
Cafe Pharma
Campaign for Modern Medicines
Carlat Psychiatry Blog
Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry: A Closer Look
Conservative's Forum
Club For Growth
Diabetes Mine
Disruptive Women
Doctors For Patient Care
Dr. Gov
Drug Channels
DTC Perspectives
Envisioning 2.0
FDA Law Blog
Fierce Pharma
Fresh Air Fund
Furious Seasons
Gel Health News
Hands Off My Health
Health Business Blog
Health Care BS
Health Care for All
Healthy Skepticism
Hooked: Ethics, Medicine, and Pharma
Hugh Hewitt
In the Pipeline
In Vivo
Internet Drug News
Jaz'd Healthcare
Jaz'd Pharmaceutical Industry
Jim Edwards' NRx
Kaus Files
Laffer Health Care Report
Little Green Footballs
Med Buzz
Media Research Center
More than Medicine
National Review
Neuroethics & Law
Nurses For Reform
Nurses For Reform Blog
Opinion Journal
Orange Book
Peter Rost
Pharm Aid
Pharma Blog Review
Pharma Blogsphere
Pharma Marketing Blog
Pharmacology Corner
Pharmaceutical Business Review
Piper Report
Prescription for a Cure
Public Plan Facts
Real Clear Politics
Shark Report
Shearlings Got Plowed
Taking Back America
Terra Sigillata
The Cycle
The Catalyst
The Lonely Conservative
Town Hall
Washington Monthly
World of DTC Marketing
WSJ Health Blog