Health Care

US to Compare Medical Treatments

The American medical system has always tested new treatments against placebos, but not against existing treatments to see if they’re better than what is already available. According to The New York Times, the stimulus corrects this flaw. It contains a provision that will provide $1.1 billion to medical researchers to compare drugs, medical devices, surgeries, and other treatments for the first time. “The program responds to a growing concern that doctors have little or no solid evidence of the value of many treatments.” The typical aim of government-funded trials has been to make sure that a treatment is safe and effective, but whether it is better than other treatments already available on the market. Supporters of the measure say it will reduce health care costs in the long run, though critics in the pharmaceutical industry and the Republican Party are alleging that the government will use it to deny more expensive treatments and thus ration health care.