Blog: The controversy over Theranos misses the larger point

Jackson, Brian brian.jackson at ARUPLAB.COM
Thu Mar 3 17:55:58 UTC 2016


You don't actually even have to go all the way to dietary supplements to make the argument.  Every pharmacy has a huge array of OTC drugs.  Can any of those be misused?  Absolutely.  Can many of them be harmful when misused?  Yes.  Do we want patients and doctors to have open, effective communication about relevant OTC drug use?  Yes, and we also know this doesn't always happen.  But none of these are reasons for a blanket ban on OTC drugs.

The dialog about direct-to-consumer testing should be framed in the sense of making tests (and I'm talking about legitimate medical tests here, not the recreational stuff) OTC.  In my opinion, most medical tests could reasonably be made OTC for patients willing to pay out of pocket.  And I say that in spite of the fact that I totally agree that there's a lot of over testing going on already.

The problem of using medical tests more appropriately/efficiently/effectively is in my opinion orthogonal to the problem of making it easier for patients to actively engage in their own medical care.  The two issues are not so strongly in conflict as the KevinMD blogger seems to think.  Managing the two problems in parallel does complicate things a little, but I think it's just a matter of making the risk-benefit tradeoffs explicit and not pretending that all these decisions are black and white.

--Brian Jackson

From: robert bell [mailto:0000000296e45ec4-dmarc-request at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG]
Sent: Monday, February 29, 2016 9:26 PM
To: IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG
Subject: Re: [IMPROVEDX] Blog: The controversy over Theranos misses the larger point

Hi Steve,

Is the patient ordering their own lab work any worse than buying very questionable placebo botanicals from a health store to treat a thousand and one conditions?

And I would not be surprised if subtle changes in blood work linked with some condition such as shingles that in turn would suggest using a specific cancer test still to be developed to diagnose early cancer.

Also, our mutations, linked to blood work, and social habits and life style over time I would suspect would show cancer correlations. Bring on the computers, data bases, and accurate lab tests!

Rob Bell


On Nov 10, 2015, at 2:57 PM, Stephen Martin <stmartin at GMAIL.COM<mailto:stmartin at GMAIL.COM>> wrote:

Hi All,

This is a thoughtful and urgent message -- one that connects with our DEM conference session on technology and diagnostic error.  Except this one is by a medical student! Props to author Vamsi Aribindi.

Best,
Steve


http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2015/11/the-controversy-over-theranos-misses-the-larger-point.html
The controversy over Theranos misses the larger point

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