The world of medical science is moving in a alarming speed.In any field , speed is always dangerous ! That’s why we have speed breakers , traffic police , speed cameras , etc etc . The medical world is flooded with new devices, drugs , procedures . Though the mankind is benefited with many of them , a equal number could do the opposite.
How to identify which is causing benefit and which doing harm ?
It is a horrible fact , this is the most difficult exercise for the medical academia . . . Still worse , harm will masquerade as benefit ! Further , beneficial concepts are often buried alive if it lacks glamor or commercial value (Eg: The Digoxins,)
Lay public (as well as ) the physicians are fed with half-baked ( Often quarter baked !) medical information .Many of the medical journals, guidelines , sponsored seminars , some times even text books do a clandestine campaign . Even after a completion of major trial, real truths rarely come out . Funnily , they call them aptly , as blinded study ! Who is blinding whom is a different issue .
So , in this new millennium , thousands of innovations are on the pipeline. These pipes are often infested with trivial , duplicate or even harmful concepts waiting for a grand release into human domain.
Take the story of coronary stents
In 1977 , Gruntzig mastered the opening of the obstructed coronary arteries with a simple balloon without any add ons . That patient is still alive without angina . In the next 30 years we have ridiculed (Rather , we were compelled to ridicule it ! * Read the related article Is there a role for plain balloon angioplasty ?
Technology made it possible to introduce a gamut of intra coronary devices .We used (?abused ) all sort of anticancer drugs within the tender human coronary arteries .In 2002 , we claimed to have climbed the summit and conquered the restenosis with DES. And in 2010 , every one knows what is happening to DES .
The malaise is deep rooted in every specialty . Next came the Stem cell fiasco ? and more recently huge conflicts of interest exposed in the vaccines against H1NI
Who is going to regulate the menace ? Hmm . . . . then . . . Who will regulate the regulators ?
Is there a way out for our patients ? or they have to suffer with it along with the disease . The later is more realistic option !