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Stop spending on new treatments; allocate funds to improve the existing treatments.

by Medindia Content Team on  December 11, 2005 at 3:03 PM Research News   - G J E 4
Stop spending on new treatments; allocate funds to improve the existing treatments.
A study conducted by Steven H. Woolf, M.D., professor and director of research in Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Department of Family Medicine reported that it will be fruitful and more lives would be saved if US stopped spending on improving the medical facilities and provided the existing facilities to the public.
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The congress allocates funds to the National Institute of Health (NIH) to improve treatment modalities of which only 10% of the money is actually spent.

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A misconception that by improving the medicines, techniques and other health facilities will facilitate health care sector should be cleared. One need not worry about improving the already existing facility; rather see to it that it reaches the patients who are in need. We have to demolish all the barriers that prevent the reaching of the facilities to the public.

The study partly was done as analysis of 2 case studies one with statins and the other with antiplatelet drugs. This was to prove that more money was spent on developing new drugs that saved less number of patients and prevented fewer strokes.

Statistics showed that health care services showed discrepancies in case of minorities and disenfranchised patients which should be avoided.

A contrast was seen from the study between the usefulness of the treatment and to the degree to which these facilities are delivered properly and exactly to the patients. This idea was described in detail with an example, if a disease results in 100000 deaths/year and a drug has the capacity to prevent 20000 deaths/year (20%). But if only 60% of the patients receive the drug only12000 deaths can be avoided hence a complete 100% of the patients should be able to get the drug there by preventing an additional 8000 deaths. If the drug was delivered only to 60% patients then the drug's capacity would have to be increased from 20% to 33% which is close to impossible.

Hence it is better to avoid investing in developing better drugs and thereby make all the drugs available to the entire patient population.

A large number of strokes could have been avoided if more aspirins were distributed to the patients instead of investing money in developing effective anticlotting drugs. Statistics show that for every single death that could be prevented by these expensive drugs seven deaths could be prevented if they had used the primitive statin.

The study concluded that massive venturing into the latest instruments and technologies will consume more lives rather than save lives and improve the quality of health care services provided to the public.
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