Medical 'Best Practices' Change Rapidly -- Regulations Don't
In a carefully reasoned commentary published in the Wall Street Journal, Drs. Jerome Groopman and Pamela Hartzband challenge the fundamental negative allegations of bureaucratic federal agencies, such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, regarding the current quality of American healthcare, and they falsify the implication that government supervision and regulation are needed.
An analysis from the Ottawa Health Research Institute published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2007 reveals how long it takes for conclusions derived from clinical studies about drugs, devices and procedures to become outdated. Within one year, 15 of 100 recommendations based on the "best evidence" had to be significantly reversed; within two years, 23 were reversed, and at 5 1/2 years, half were contradicted. Americans have witnessed these reversals firsthand as firm "expert" recommendations about the benefits of estrogen replacement therapy for postmenopausal women, low fat diets for obesity, and tight control of blood sugar were overturned.