Dr. Bureaucracy vs.The Sustainable Individual

  • by: |
  • 02/20/2008
No, not a new horror movie, a new op-ed from today's edition of The Detroit News:

Bureaucrats threaten personalized medical breakthroughs

American health care has come to a fork in the road.

On the one hand, science is opening up exciting possibilities. The booming field of "personalized" medicine recognizes that every one of us is unique -- not just in some sort of philosophical sense, but in the ways we get sick and the ways we get better.

Personalized medicine can size up our gene sequences to find out what ailments we're likely to get, and even prescribe preventative treatment.

Cancer doctors can now look for "biomarkers" on proteins to detect disease early and determine which treatments are most likely to work.

And this same science can help our doctors understand what medicines are wrong for us, avoiding unnecessary pain, suffering - and expense.

Unfortunately, just as these groundbreaking therapies are coming within reach of consumers, politicians and bureaucrats are threatening to make them off limits. As science makes ever-more-targeted treatment possible, politics could drag us right back to a one-size-fits-all system."

Here's the rest of the story:


And to further entice you, here's the concluding paragraph:

We hear a lot about sustainability these days. We want our ecosystem and our economy to be hale and hearty over the long term. But we also need a health care system that creates sustainable individuals. A market-driven system can do that, by bringing all the latest treatments to the public and letting competition drive down prices. Bureaucracies, by contrast, are mainly in the business of sustaining themselves. A move to government health care will take us down the wrong path.

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.

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