September 24, 2006

Attention Poor People: If You Want Medicine, You Must Become a Research Subject

Andrew Rosenthal pointed out this piece from August JAMA that we missed, the claim by Miller and Emanuel that it is not problematic for Medicare to:
allow certain services and treatments to be covered if patients participate in clinical trials. According to the authors, the policy has been used in many high-profile decisions, but critics say the policy is coercive and unfair. The authors say that the policy is not unethical because patients are not automatically entitled to new treatments that would be covered under Medicare. The authors also discuss the cost concerns associated with determining which treatments will be covered through the policy; the policy's importance in making coverage decisions; and whether the policy can play a role in balancing the needs for better effectiveness with the needs and desires of patients for access to new treatments.
Yup, no coercion there. Right.

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