Arguing Against Comparison Studies– Anti-intellectualism or Greed?

It’s hard to believe that one can argue against learning what works. But that’s exactly the position of drug and device makers in this article in the Wall Street Journal. It’s hard to believe that this is an issue.

At a minimum such studies will guide physicians in explaining benefits of, risks from and alternatives to various treatments. Comparisons will also help with analyzing the cost-effectiveness of various interventions. Whether insurers will use such data to decide what they will and will not cover is an open question.

My question is when new drugs are prohibitively expensive and have minimal effect on disease course, should insurers pay for their use? Should doctors recommend their use? Should there be limits on “choice” in health care when someone else is paying?

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