THE FIM INITIATIVES: CURE CARE, HEALTH CARE COST REDUCTIONS, AND THE DOCTORNAUT ACT
For inexplicable reasons, we have a cultural blind spot regarding the critical importance of clinical research or studies and its essential role in accelerating discovery of new medical breakthrough therapies as well as helping reduce health care costs. We seem to have forgotten that penicillin and insulin are only discovered in clinical studies. Block that step and the medical discovery rate goes down. It is generally recognized that there are formidable barriers to conducting clinical studies dramatically raising the cost and risks but, strangely, there are few voices making the connection between such barriers and the disappointing track record of the discovery of new medical therapies despite our enormous scientific, technological capacity. Has anyone wondered why we can go to the moon but cannot cure the common cold?
What also is not appreciated is that high cost and risky barriers to clinical research encourage companies to develop high cost medical - health products. It naturally follows that if the barriers to clinical research are substantially reduced, then low cost products also will be clinically tested and developed competing with high cost ones. This will result in significant health care cost reduction.
Now here's where the Doctornaut Act comes in: For historical reasons our country is extremely suspicious and apprehensive about clinical studies. Any attempts to reduce the barriers to clinical research and make it much easier for patients to volunteer to test potential new medical breakthroughs simply will not succeed. But if we do this with physician volunteers or Doctornauts then we believe that this would not only be an acceptable solution but a highly welcomed one. Who can argue against physicians willing to take greater risks to help their patients?
And what is highly encouraging is that it is a very simple and easily understood Act which could quickly be passed and the accrued benefits realized within the very near future.
Also, it is important to note that the Doctornaut Act would not compete with any health care system but, instead, would be complementary to it.
Christopher Reeve, after learning about a study in which paralyzed rats were made mobile again by a new treatment, and also knowing how long it takes for laboratory discoveries to become available to patients, said, "If only I were a rat!" This simple but tragic wish says it all.
The four documents listed below support and clarify the rationale and importance of the Doctornaut Act.
Discussion Draft of the Doctornaut Act(Introductory Page): This draft was requested and circulated for comments by the former Republican Senate Majority Leader and physician, Bill Frist. Dr. DeFelice had a number of discussions with Dr. Frist on the importance of physician volunteers or Doctornauts to more easily volunteer for clinical studies to accelerate the discovery of new medical breakthroughs. He, as a former clinical researcher, readily agreed with the doctornaut rationale. Read>
Doctornauts:Good for Patients and Health Care Costs Reduction: This op-ed piece was accepted for publication by the editor of perhaps the most prestigious widely read conservative publication. It, without explanation, was subsequently rejected. I've modified the piece somewhat for this website. Read>
THE DOCTORNAUT ACT A Proposal by FIM: Published in 2003 is an analysis of why the Doctornaut Act is needed and guidelines for it. To make this happen it it critical that Congress hear from you regarding your support of this Act by contacting your local Congressional representatives and Senators. Read>
CURE CARE VS. HEALTH CARE - A Virtual Congressional Hearing Over the years I've tried by intensive educational efforts, without success, to bring about general change that would speed up the discovery of new medical therapies for the treatment of disease, disabilities and other conditions that ail us by establishing a "health cure" policy. In this article I thought that by presenting FIM's arguments in a make-believe Congressional hearing on "cure care" would be readily understandable. Regarding health issues, I've been following the White House and Congress since the early sixties. The overwhelming majority of hearings and policies have dealt with "health care" such as Medicare, Medicaid, availability of pharmaceuticals at reduced or no costs and the recent Obamacare. None, unbelievable as it may seem, has dealt with "health cure". Read>