So a disgruntled reporter is stirring up trouble by daring to question the way medical advances happen in this great nation. Apparently this Joel Rutchick character is suggesting that when respected surgeon Dr. Isador Lieberman and his organization the Cleveland Clinic began pushing a new type of back surgery, we are supposed to be surprised he didn’t plaster memos about his stock options and holdings in the company that made the device all over the foreheads of his patients.
Lieberman did not tell his patients about his financial conflict of interest unless asked, the Clinic acknowledged. According to Plain Dealer research, he also did not reveal his stock holdings in numerous articles he wrote about kyphoplasty.
Bunkum! Does every computer come with a message that you’re making Bill Gates richer every time you turn it on? Of course not.
And when he (Lieberman) testified to the treatment’s benefits at a government hearing last year, he did not divulge past stock interests in Kyphon Inc. and other device makers – even when explicitly asked to disclose such holdings.
Well he was correct. He had apparently sold the last of his stock a few months before the Congressional hearing. Like any good capitalist Dr Lieberman is onto the next pony. As he told the commie rag The Plain Dealer
"I strive to be transparent in my disclosures and believe that I have disclosed my interests within the guidelines and policies of the Cleveland Clinic," Lieberman said in a written statement. He declined to be interviewed.
Who needs an interview in the face of that transparency!
Didn’t Rutchick know that unlike a bum masquerading as a reporter Dr Lieberman had been to medical school and therefore knew all about ethics? And didn’t Rutchick also know for there to be great inventions like this it’s required that not just the inventor but anyone who uses it gets rich? Otherwise what incentive would physicians have to help patients and save lives! After all who except some communist would disapprove of such a system?
When Kyphon officials took their company public in May
2002, they disclosed in a filing with the Securities and
Exchange Commission that they had offered stock options to
the eight members of their advisory board. All took them
except Dr. Joseph Lane, a New York orthopedic surgeon who
teaches at the medical school affiliated with Cornell
University. "I felt it was very awkward for me to be honest about
these things if I owned stock in the company," Lane
said last week.
Yeah, and we know what color state this Dr. Lane character is from, don’t we?! Enough said on that topic. Honestly, virtually every great medical advance absolutely requires this kind of capitalist incentive for those using them. After all, most other medical advances come about the same way. The important thing is that there’s clear evidence of an improvement.
On the SpineUniverse Web site, Lieberman, Kyphon co-founder
Reiley and three other doctors published a four-paragraph
synopsis of their initial experiences with kyphoplasty
involving 26 patients. "These results support further
use of kyphoplasty," the March 2000 summary concluded.
What possible other evidence than this initial, non-per reviewed disinterested study could be needed? None, of course! The important thing is to get the new procedure into as general use as quickly as possible for the betterment of patient care and to save lives!
Before 2004, there had been only one reported death
associated with kyphoplasty and seven with vertebroplasty.
Since then, the numbers have changed dramatically. From 2004
through September, 16 deaths involving kyphoplasty were
reported to the FDA versus three vertebroplasty-related
fatalities. Experts agree that vertebroplasty is used more
frequently than kyphoplasty, although the gap has closed in
recent years. “These sorts of complications are extremely rare,” said
Julie Tracy, a Kyphon vice president. “These are procedures
that are very safe and do a lot of good for these patients.”
In a study published two years ago, researchers at the Johns
Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore also concluded that
kyphoplasty was more closely associated with serious
complications than vertebroplasty. Lieberman led the rebuttal for kyphoplasty proponents,
challenging the methodology of the study and completeness of
the data. However, those deaths and other complications underscore a
fundamental flaw of kyphoplasty: the risk of subjecting an
elderly patient to trauma and a general anesthetic, said Dr.
Kieran Murphy, one of the authors of the Hopkins study.
Murphy has disclosed that he receives royalties from one of
several manufacturers of the equipment used in
Exactly, it’s clear that the naysayers are paid off by the communists. And at least we know that the insurance industry and the government are getting better value for money from the new procedure.
Murphy and other critics of kyphoplasty say hospitals need
the fees from general anesthesia and admission to recover
the costs of the equipment used in the procedure. That
equipment averages $3,500 to treat a single fracture,
according to Kyphon; vertebroplasty kits generally cost $500
to $600. Costs vary, but all told, vertebroplasty was found
to be $6,000 cheaper for each fracture treated, according to
a research report.
Well obviously those insurers must think it’s a better deal! Who could imagine insurers or Medicare just paying more for a new procedure without careful vetting it. After all they’re the end payer aren’t they? And they’re really strict about containing costs, as anyone paying insurance premiums knows! And if they weren’t so tough on containing costs for consumers and taxpayers, then why would we have a national clinical cost-benefit analysis center researching all these new treatments and being "transparent" about which ones cost what?
Answer me that, you Cleveland commie reporter, eh!
The only slightly disquieting aspect of this whole article is that the procedure concerned was invented in France. I know it’s a free market and all that, next time I hope that a red-blooded American like Dr. Lieberman could have been a little more patriotic. We don’t want those people with nice new backs only able to run backwards, do we?