Sunday, November 25, 2018

hats off to the Associated Press et al

Jim Taft
Thumbs-up to the Associated Press and its group effort to call out spinal devices alleged to alleviate sometimes debilitating pain.
For years, medical device companies and doctors have touted spinal-cord stimulators as a panacea for millions of patients suffering from a wide range of pain disorders, making them one of the fastest-growing products in the $400 billion medical device industry. Companies and doctors aggressively push them as a safe antidote to the deadly opioid crisis in the U.S. and as a treatment for an aging population in need of chronic pain relief.
But the stimulators — devices that use electrical currents to block pain signals before they reach the brain — are more dangerous than many patients know, an Associated Press investigation found. They account for the third-highest number of medical device injury reports to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with more than 80,000 incidents flagged since 2008.
The story -- yes, it requires reading -- is a good example of what good reporting once was.

Here's the Guardian's take.
Patients around the world are suffering pain and many have died as a result of faulty medical devices that have been allowed on to the market by a system dogged by poor regulation, lax rules on testing and a lack of transparency, an investigation has found.
Pacemakers, artificial hips, contraceptives and breast implants are among the devices that have caused injuries and resulted in patients having to undergo follow-up operations or in some cases losing their lives.
In some cases, the implants had not been tested in patients before being allowed on to the market.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this.

    Here’s today’s NY Times latest on the issue:
    FDA Says It Will Overhaul Criticized Medical Device System

    Problem is that the Health Care Industry has been working at eroding the effectiveness of the FDA for decades. The FDA has been stripped of its mandate to conduct rigorous reviews not only with respect to medical devices, but also with respect to medications.

    As the AP article mentioned in passing, doctors are accepting payments to push medication and devices. It’s not just the local people accepting free food and small gifts but doctors in leadership positions accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Greed Kills!