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New England Journal of Medicine ...

Posted Nov 10 2008 4:19pm

New England Journal of Medicine article addressing consumer driven medicine and devices...one item mentioned is the J and J stent...and the marketing tactics currently in place to promote via television ads....and the debate is still open overall with medical professionals....and why is this being directed at the public when they are not informed enough to make a decision of the sort...also of interest is the study whereby actors from the University of California made visits to 152 primary care physicians requesting certain brands of medications...device remedies are a bit different than prescribing a drug....BD 

Medical device makers are taking direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising to a perilous new level. In a piece titled " Crossing the Line in Consumer Education?" that will appear in the May 22 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Drs. William E. Boden, and George A. Diamond tackle the issue, arguing that a new campaign to peddle medical devices directly to patients warrants close scrutiny. Manufacturers are inviting consumers to decide not only what is best for them, but what is best for their surgeons. This is "consumer-driven medicine" at its most dangerous.

Yet why else would J&J spend millions on television advertising? The company's goal is to create demand -- a "buzz" that will cause patients to ask about the product, and that will make some hospitals and surgeons feel that they must use it.

Patients want to be able to ask questions. They want their doctors to take the time to give them detailed answers. But the more DTC ads encourage patients to make demands of their doctors, the more doctors and patients are positioned as antagonists rather than collaborators.

That's a recipe for friction, not patient satisfaction. One last question: even if patients get the Cypher they want, what happens when they develop a blood clot? Who is responsible then?

The Dangers of Consumer-Driven Medicine | Health and Wellness | AlterNet

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