• The Sunshine Act

      My older brother, who used to hold me down and torture me, has finally seen the light. Okay, he was ten; I was five; and it wasn't really "torture," but he did go on to become another one of those ivy league socialists. At Princeton and Harvard, they taught him that business was nasty and that government needed to create an "orderly marketplace."

      Then he did medical research and actually tried to bring products to market. That woke him up. Maybe his little brother's ranting did too.

      At any rate, in today's WSJ, he points out some of the unintended consequences of the President's new "Sunshine Act."

      The Act requires disclosure of drug company payments to physicians. Disclosure seems harmless. Aren't we all better off if we can see who was paid what? That this would protect patients seems intuitive. But often, what's intuitive is wrong.

      "This reasoning inverts reality. Medical care is incomparably better today than when I received my M.D. degree in 1967-due primarily to the availability of products developed by industry in unencumbered collaboration with physicians...

      Thanks to this collaboration, longevity has increased by a decade, and in my specialty, hematology, treatments for anemia, blood-clotting disorders and malignancies of the blood have improved spectacularly.

      Evidence that collaborations "compromise clinical integrity and patient care" is practically nonexistent....

      The new regulations are "a boondoggle for accountants, compliance bureaucrats and the legions of lawyers whom companies will hire to interpret and manage the regulations."

      I believe it. My forty years of consumer reporting have taught me that most regulations feed "compliance bureaucrats" but hurt the public. And the bureaucrats rarely repeal any. They just add more.

      Health Care