Sham surgery gets a plug
This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet
Trial evaluating 180 patients who received arthroscopic débridement, lavage or placebo surgical knee treatment for osteoarthritis indicates health care researchers "should not underestimate the placebo effect, regardless of its mechanism," according to investigators Bruce Moseley, MD, Houston Veterans Affairs Medical Center, et al. Published in the July 11 New England Journal of Medicine, the study showed outcomes for arthroscopic procedures were no better than placebo. NIH Clinical Center officials Sam Horng and Franklin Miller, PhD, opine in an accompanying article that "a full ethical assessment [of sham surgery] must include consideration of the consequences of not conducting rigorous trials of surgery." Horng and Miller cite Moseley's data indicating that the costs of arthroscopic surgery in the U.S. total approximately $3.25 bil. per year. NEJM editorialists David Felson, MD/MPH, Boston University, and Joseph Buckwalter, MD, University of Iowa, explain that "inclusion of a sham-arthroscopy group with the use of blinding provides evidence of much higher quality" than that available from previous trials...
You may also be interested in...
Local contractors should determine whether coverage for arthroscopic debridement is reasonable and necessary for a patient sub-population presenting with pain and additional symptoms but without severe osteoarthritis, according to CMS
The Veterans Administration plans to complete within the next 90 days an internal review of whether recent study findings warrant continued coverage of arthroscopic knee surgical procedures to alleviate pain and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis
Pain relief product sales grew 27% and upper respiratory sales 35% for the week ended 7 March as consumers respond to COVID-19, according to Nielsen data noted in a Jefferies report on consumer health purchasing trends. Private label market share is up slightly, while OTC purchases continue primarily in conventional stores.