Physicians know best...but not ex-lieutenant governors

Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D. (make sure you see that big ol' Ph.D. cause it's real important, though it does happen to be in constitutional history, not anything to do with medicine as letter writer Forrest Gatton point out--cf. used to be the lieutenant governor under Pataki during his first term as governor of NY. Remember her? She was the one who insisted on standing up the entire time during Pataki's State of the State speech. You may not also know she was largely responsible for killing the Clinton health plan basing it (falsely, in this writer's opinion: cf. The White House. Analysis of New Republic article on health care reform. Little Rock: William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, January 31, 2004) on a complicated algorithm that highlighted a bewildering bureaucracy. You probably do know her as the author of the so-called "death panel" report that tried to paint ObamaCare as some kind of Grandma killing machine. Thankfully, most people saw through her idiocy. So apparently she likes to dip her toe into the tepid waters of medical knowledge.

And yet it seems she has absolutely no medical knowledge to speak of. If you read her letter you will come away with the thought that somehow generics are abysmally inadequate to the task of healing. She implies that there are studies that prove this. She writes that "generics are less effective or cause side effects in some patients."

Well. I could also add that brand drugs are also less effective or cause side effects in some people. Generic drugs are bioequivalent to brand drugs and undergo scrupulous testing. There may be occasional lapses in manufacturing quality control, but that is equally true for brand drugs. Remember the Tylenol recalls of about six months ago?

Now, anyone with a scintilla of medical knowledge knows this woman is entirely ignorant as regards matters pertaining to healthcare, as this latest letter of hers attests. But I find that she is currently in New York City, as chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. God help us. And who appointed her to that important committee? Who?

I like what James Fallows of The Atlantic Monthly says regarding her (I got this, yes, from Wikipedia): "She has brought more misinformation, more often, more destructively into America's consideration of health-policy issues than any other individual. She has no concept of 'truth' or 'accuracy' in the normal senses of those terms, as demonstrated last week when she went on The Daily Show." (If you'd like to track that show down go to August 20, 2009)


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