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The Politics Of Evidence Based Medicine

Posted on | November 28, 2009 | 1 Comment

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Lewis Miller

The US Preventive Task Force revised recommendations on the frequency of mammography couldn’t have come at a worse time. I guess the only sensible conclusion about the timing has to be the head-in-the-ivory-tower attitude of academics to life in the real world. 

Congress has now decided to debate the politics of evidence based medicine. I wish them luck. Can you imagine Senators Grassley and Baucus reviewing thousands of studies purporting to represent the best evidence for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and treatments? Both have fought hard for transparency in gifts and payments to physicians by the pharmaceutical industry. Maybe they can find a way to make clinical research techniques and analysis equally transparent. Better they should stick to creating a viable health care reform law that extends coverage, reduces costs and improves quality. (to continue…)

Comments

One Response to “The Politics Of Evidence Based Medicine”

  1. Mike Magee
    November 28th, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

    Lew-

    Thanks for your important insights. The benefits of Evidenced Based Medicine are clear, especially if combined with reliable automated processes. But moving in this direction will force us to confront two painful realities. First, much of what we do lacks evidence. Second, as with mammography screening, even when we do have evidence, some of us will not believe it. We shouldn’t lose sight then of those areas where there is general consensus and evidence. Perhaps that is the proper place to begin to focus our efforts.

    Thanks, Mike

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