Thursday, August 06, 2009

Healthcare quotes of the day

As [my British dentist] put it starkly, why risk a lawsuit doing a root canal that takes several hours to do properly when you could just pull the tooth and be done with it? I went private.--Delia Lloyd

... the drug companies only spend about 15 cents of every dollar on research and development. That's compared to more than 30 cents in administration and marketing and more than 20 cents on shareholder equity. As an investment in R&D, I think any venture capitalist would say a company spending 15 percent on research is not a robust innovation engine.--Jerry Avorn

This makes about as much sense as saying that Dr. Jerry Avorn cannot be that smart because his brain only weighs about three pounds. Presumably, you can't be really smart--really innovative--unless your brain is at least 30 percent of your body weight! --Megan McArdle

... Jerry Avorn, chief of the division of pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women's Hospital, announces that companies don't do anything. It's no mystery how Dr. Avorn formed this belief: he pretty clearly has absolutely no idea what companies do. But the fact that he mistakes his ignorance for a fact about the universe makes me wonder if pharmacoeconomics is what my college boyfriend's roommate used to do with a few grams of cocaine and a copy of Mankiw's Principles. ... I am completely unsurprised to find out that Dr. Jerry Avorn has completed no work in economics, and indeed, so far as I can tell, no work in anything except being a professor of medicine? I'm sure he's a very good researcher on how patients use drugs. But he's pretty clearly no sort of expert at all on how companies actually make them--or anything else gracing our store shelves.--Megan McArdle
BCWUW4: Be careful what you wish for.

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