MedPage Today Editor-at-Large George Lundberg, MD writes about why, since 1986 when he was JAMA editor, he has been a “great fan” of the US Preventive Services Task Force:
“USPSTF reports are one of the few, and at that early time, one of the only sources of important medical information that was influenced little or not at all by financial conflicts of interest of the authors or their institutions.
Task force members are usually experts in primary care, preventive medicine, and epidemiology-biostatistics, and DELIBERATELY NOT in the medical or surgical specialty or subspecialty most directly involved with the disease being studied and its prevention and treatment.
That fact became both the UPSTF’s greatest strength, namely economic neutrality, and its greatest vulnerability, namely being comprised of people who may know little directly about diagnosing and treating the disease in question.
But I support the structurally unbiased approach as being in the best interest of truth and the public. So much of the medical literature and the practice community are inherently biased.”
Such neutrality is opposed by moves such as the American Urological Association’s support of House bill 5998, which would alter the makeup and processes of the USPSTF – something we advised readers about more than a month ago.
Here’s Lundberg’s video column: