Monday, August 27, 2007

BLOGSCAN - How Aggressive Treatment of Anemia was "Earmarked"

On GoozNews, Merrill Goozner just posted at length about a hidden "earmark" he discovered in the S-CHIP bill, one that would reward dialysis units for very aggressively treating their patients' anemia. There has been a lot written (our meager contributions includes posts here and here) about how the previous dogma that aggressive correction of hemoglobin in patients with chronic renal failure proved to be unreliable, and about how Amgen, maker of products frequently used to effect this correction, e.g., epoetin (Epogen) aggressively marketed its wares. Now Merrill Goozner has disclosed how the "earmark" process seems to have been used to add federal muscle to the push for aggressive treatment of anemia, even if such treatment is not good for patients. How this was orchestrated remains unclear. Stay tuned....

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