What utter nonsense. Pipes‘ whole piece – in Forbes nonetheless -is rife with errors of fact, contortions of logic, and sloppy research. Her highly selective parsing of others’ work is nothing short of intentionally misleading.
Here are a few of Ms Pipes’ errors.
“CER advocates say that it’s designed to correct a “market failure.” Right now, they argue, drug firms need not demonstrate that their product is better than those already on the market — only that it is effective at treating the disease it targets. Drug companies have little incentive to compare their products to those made by other firms — as they may not come out on top.”
Actually, CER advocates point to a failure of Congress and then-President Bush, not the “market”. Those elected cretins are the ones responsible for forbidding CMS from considering efficacy or effectiveness when determining how much is paid for a new drug or device (notably missed by Ms Pipes). Yep, the 2003 Congress and Bush are the ones at fault when they passed the Medicare “Modernization” Act.
After all, why would you, dear taxpayer, ever want the Feds to care about wasting your tax dollars on marginally useful but really expensive drugs or devices? Nope, far better to force CMS to pay whatever pharma or device manufacturers charge for stuff that might not work nearly as well as something that costs far less.
Ms Pipes goes on to find fault with CER, saying “for starters, doctors don’t always agree on what comparative-effectiveness research is actually telling us”.
No @&%$()*^. THAT’S WHY WE NEED CER! There’s waaay too much variation outside accepted practice norms, and this variation kills patients, drives up taxes, and increases employers’ costs. Newsflash to Ms Pipes, some “doctors” are lousy, profit-seeking, patient-hurting, incompetent, or just plain bad. Here’s just one example.
Next up; “Back in 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force — another government-run panel of independent experts — revised its breast-cancer screening recommendations by telling women to wait until age 50 before undergoing routine mammograms. Previously, the group had encouraged women to start mammograms at age 40.
One reason the Task Force cited for the change? Cost.”
As if somehow cost is bad? Another newsflash for Ms Pipes – health care costs are out of control, largely because we do way too many procedures that we should not do. Ever heard of “entitlements”, Ms P?
Also note cost is only ONE FACTOR. Increased risk of cancer from too many radiation screenings received much more attention – as it should.
Why is Ms Pipes so blatantly, obviously, completely in error? Perhaps an inability to grasp basic concepts of high school science is to blame, or maybe she has really poor reading comprehension.
Of course, neither is the case. Ms Pipes just chooses to ignore facts that run counter to her ideology in favor of made-up conclusions based on nothing more than her ideology. .
Shame on you Forbes. Your corner of the mainstream media is indeed in decline.