Defelice Commentary of July 2004
Stephen L. DeFelice, M.D.
The vast majority of Americans are correct in their belief that
modern technology offers enormous medical promise. They are unaware,
however, that the barriers to deliver this medical promise are also
enormous. For decades we have been told about exciting potential medical
breakthroughs, but such news is invariably followed by the message that
it will take a significant amount of time before these potential
breakthroughs become available to doctors to patients. But, unbelievable
as it may seem, not once have I heard the question asked, "Why are they
taking so long to arrive?"
My answer to the question is that the American system is
misanthropic in that, like a stealth bomber, is effectively designed to
block the clinical testing of these therapies without being noticed. The
result? Many millions of patients have or are needlessly suffering and
dying before they should.
I have had a long career in scientific-medical research and have
experienced, firsthand, the formidable barriers to medical discovery.
For this reason, I decided to create this column in order to both offer
ways to effectively diminish these barriers as well as discuss potential
new therapies themselves.
Occasionally, guest authors will contribute to this column. I do
invite comments and criticism from the readers. But, unfortunately,
because of the volume, I am not able to respond to all. I will, however,
select a few which will follow each column.