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Show 1135: Who Do You Believe–the Experts or the Evidence?

How well do doctors follow the evidence in choosing treatments? Might they be swayed by their relationship with a pharmaceutical or device manufacturer? This show will air Sept. 22, 2018.
Show 1135: Who Do You Believe–the Experts or the Evidence?
Vinay K. Prasad, MD
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Who Do You Believe–the Experts or the Evidence?

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Doctors have been advocating evidence-based medicine for a few decades, but a surprising amount of medical practice is based on tradition. How can you sort out the value of evidence-based medicine from eminence-based medicine? (That is, what the most influential experts recommend, based on their own experience or beliefs.)

The Fate of Medical Mythbusters:

Collecting medical evidence may uncover practices that are not optimal. Are medical mythbusters hailed as heroes, or are they more often pilloried like Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis? (He advocated doctors washing their hands between autopsies and patients.)

Is Evidence Overwhelmed by Conflicts of Interest?

Prominent physicians are often paid handsomely by drug or device makers on the hope that they will prove to be opinion leaders. Such conflicts of interest may go undetected for years, as they did with Dr. José Baselga. Until Sept. 13, 2018, he was chief medical officer of Memorial Sloan Kettering. He stepped down when his supervisors learned that he had not disclosed receiving millions of dollars from health care companies. His case was uncovered by ProPublica and The New York Times, but most doctors don’t get that kind of scrutiny. How can we learn about their conflicts of interest? Why do they matter?

The High Cost of Cancer Treatments:

The development of new cancer treatments such as CAR-T is exciting, but at the prices being charged few patients will be able to benefit. Can our medical system survive such sky-high costs? Find out how patients can make the best decisions on their treatments.

This Week’s Guest:

Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH, is a practicing hematologist oncologist and internal medicine physician. He is an associate professor of medicine and public health at Oregon Health and Science University. Dr. Prasad with Adam Cifu is author of Ending Medical Reversal: Improving Outcomes, Saving Lives. His website is http://www.vinayakkprasad.com/

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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