The President’s Paradox


“The possibilities are boundless,” Mr. Obama said at a recent White House event.  

Precision medicine “gives us one of the greatest opportunities for new medical breakthroughs that we have ever seen,” he said.  

And with that he has  proposed a major new initiative to develop drugs tailored to the genetic characteristics of individual patients.  But there is as catch.   As per this NY Times article:

He proposes a major new initiative to develop drugs tailored to the genetic characteristics of individual patients, but he expresses deep concern about the costs of such specialty medicines for consumers and for the Medicare program. He has asked Congress to let Medicare officials negotiate prices with drug manufacturers — a practice explicitly forbidden by current law.


In other words, he wants expensive toys but he doesn’t want to pay for it.  Don’t get me wrong, I like that fact that he is being cost conscious but I am just tired of the political doublespeak.  It’s like every hospital administration meeting I used to go to in Maine.  I used to think to myself, “Do they even know they are lying anymore?”

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected]

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3 Responses

  1. Randy says:

    I don’t see a problem with supporting research on this but looking at the link he is allocating $215M and hoping to enroll a million volunteers. I don’t see $215 per volunteer going very far, especially if a third of them are in the cancer treatment area and given the wastefulness of most government endeavors.

    i have to echo Pat in that there doesn’t seem to be much need for presidential involvement. Deciding how to allocate health research dollars should be decided at a lower level by people (preferably non-partisan) experienced in the area.

  2. Pat says:

    The origin of this is that it is so deeply wrong for any president to be involved with any aspect of health care beyond a short-term response to a major crisis. Health care policy has become a national disaster precisely because the federal government has no appropriate role in the daily provision of care.

    Our unwillingness to admit this dooms us to this nibble-at-the-edges crap until we have a financial collapse.

  3. Steve O' says:

    Not to mention they propose a type of medicine not all that different from custom horticulture and veterinary “healthcare.” The genetics of the herd and field can be painstakingly studied, and the downers can be put out. To them, are we all some sort of crop to be manipulated? How about genes against a human version of Roundup® for treating the field crops?
    And who is taking all the LSD it requires to come up with these ideas?

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