In response to reader comments on Joseph Conn's "Data-miners unite in Maine to block 'opt-out' Rx law":
Terry Nugent obviously has an agenda of his own: to increase his company's profits, which are directly threatened by any decline in sales of the American Medical Association's dataset. It is a myth that prescription data-mining saves money. During the era of systematic data-mining, costs have quadrupled. Data-mining is the tool with which the most expensive medications are best promoted to the highest prescribers. And groups supporting bans on the sale of prescription data for commercial purposes neither believe nor suggest that these prescriber records are linked to patient identity. Rather, our concern is with patient safety and cost control. If Nugent can show me how Avandia, Vioxx, Oxycontin and Neurontin (to name a few recent examples of pharmaceutical nightmares) have "dramatically improved quality of life and longevity" compared with generic alternatives, I'd be happy to comply with Marie Antoinette and go eat my cake.
Benjamin Schaefer, M.D.National Physicians AllianceBangor, Maine To submit a letter to YOUR VIEWS, click here. Please include your name, title and hometown.