Saturday, February 17, 2007

The BIOtech Bubble is Bursting

Almost a decade ago I believed that the predictions that the humane genome project and more recently stem cell research would revolutionize medicine were overly optimistic both in their capacity to advance human health and to create a new economy in health care.

I know that many progressive, mostly democratic members of the US Congress, and high visibility governors such as Eliot Spitzer of New York and Arnold Schwarzenegger of California have placed their political and financial bets on these technologies and many average American citizens still hope that these technologies will yield cures to many of our most devastating diseases.

But alas- the politicians were duped by an overly optimistic report generated in 2004 by Stanford University health economist Lawrence Baker and Bruce Deal of The Analysis Group in preparation for the run up to a California Ballot initiative.(now known as the Baker-Deal Report)

And the American public has been duped, in my opinion, by probably well meaning mainstream media fed incorrect information by both the scientific community and very powerful for profit BIOtech companies into believing that these technologies were revolutionary. Instead the public should have been told the truth- that these technologies were in their infancy and that there were no guarantees that they would work at all?

For an excellent summary of this issue I commend to you a post by David Hamilton- a free lance writer from San Francisco on last week entitled The Biotech Bubble

Am I an anti-biomedical technology Luddite? By all means no- but I do believe, as many do, that we are currently on that part of the biomedical technology curve where real scientific and financial return is much more difficult to achieve for dollars and resources invsested. And since medical school, for me over 35 years ago, it became very apparent that technology in medicine would never solve all of its problems- not by any stretch of my imagination anyway.

Dr. Rick Lippin


Anonymous Shel Samuels said...

....good stuff

12:52 PM  

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