February 19, 2009 Newsletter
|Dear CMPI Friends,
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
Scary As Science Fiction; Even More Frightening As Fact
By Peter Pitts
February 19, 2009
It's like the premise for a science fiction movie: A faceless government agency decides whether citizens live or die, based on how sick they are and how much money it will cost to keep them alive.
Unfortunately, such a dystopian future may not be confined to the silver screen.
In the just-passed economic stimulus package, $1.1 billion is earmarked toward the creation of a federal agency to conduct “comparative effectiveness research.” Such research compares newer medical treatments against older alternatives. Lawmakers promise the agency won't be used to ration medical treatments deemed “cost-ineffective,” but elsewhere in the world, that's exactly how such agencies are used.
The Journal of Life Sciences
By Peter Pitts
February 18, 2009
The economic recovery package provides a giant first step towards the creation of a U.S. version of the U.K.'s NICE.
The economic stimulus package that President Barack Obama just signed into law includes $1.1 billion for a Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research. Though it may be not be a popular point of view, let me say this is a bad idea. The fact is, this is a giant first step towards a U.S. version of the United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence or NICE.
Where You Stand Depends On Where You Sit
By Peter Pitts
February 16, 2009
Front-page article in today's New York Times on the $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness.
The complete article (by Robert Pear) can be found here.
Pear writes, “Under the legislation, researchers will receive $1.1 billion to compare drugs, medical devices, surgery and other ways of treating specific conditions. The bill creates a council of up to 15 federal employees to coordinate the research and to advise President Obama and Congress on how to spend the money.”
Let's not kid ourselves. This is really about head-to-head drug trials. Is anyone even paying lip service to anything else?
Do We Need More Quality Measures?
By Robert Goldberg
February 16, 2009
You can't be against quality. And I'm not. Any more than I am against cost-effective medicine or comparative effectiveness. Peter and I have posted and written much on the CMPI model for measuring quality and approach comparative effectiveness from the patient perspective and using tools that promote predictive, prospective care. And we will have a lot more to say and do in the months ahead.
NEW SENIOR FELLOW
This week the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest announced that former Congressman Mike Ferguson (R-NJ) has been named a CMPI Senior Fellow.
To learn more about former Congressman Mike Ferguson, please click here:
To watch CMPI's new mini-documentary “Off-Label: Universal Healthcare,” please click here:
ARTICLES OF NOTE
Market Innovation Makes A Difference
By Grace-Marie Turner
It may seem counter-intuitive to put "President Bush” and "successes in health reform” in the same sentence, but the Bush administration made undeniable progress in creating an innovation-friendly health sector.
Bush promoted market-friendly health policies that helped to slow the growth in health insurance costs, created new models for care delivery and financing, and fostered a more patient-centered health care system.
MMR Doctor Andrew Wakefield Fixed Data On Autism
The doctor who sparked the scare over the safety of the MMR vaccine for children changed and misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with autism, a Sunday Times investigation has found.
Confidential medical documents and interviews with witnesses have established that Andrew Wakefield manipulated patients' data, which triggered fears that the MMR triple vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella was linked to the condition.
Rationing Healthcare Creates Jobs?
By Congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ)
And unfortunately, it gets much worse. Not only is the bill loaded with pork that will burden, rather than spur, the economy, but it also contains a dangerous – and overlooked – provision to begin handing over Americans' healthcare freedom to bureaucrats.
It's called “Comparative Effectiveness Research.” While it sounds innocuous, the worst big-government programs always do. In short, comparative effectiveness research is a tool for bureaucrats take your health care decisions away from you and your doctor. Washington Liberals plan to use this “research” to determine which medical treatments are, or are not, ‘cost-effective,' as they determine.
The First Annual Odyssey Award Gala
Thursday, February 26, 2009,
at the Short Hills Hilton in Short Hills, New Jersey
Cocktail Hour—6:00 p.m.
Sol Barer, Phd, CEO Celgene for Leadership in Transformational Medicine
—Rich Bagger, Senior VP for Worldwide Public Affairs & Policy, Pfizer, and former New Jersey State Senator—Co-Chairman
—The honorable Mike Ferguson, Former Member, US House of Representatives—Co-Chairman
—John Stossel, Host, 20/20—Emcee
- NFL Star Elijah Alexander
This Event is Benefitting the Odysssey Initiative for Biomedical Innovation and Human Health of the Center for Medicine the Public Interest.
If you are interested in purchasing tickets to this dinner, please click here:
Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to CMPI. Your support is appreciated.