When it comes to metastatic melanoma and other very aggressive cancers, there is no such thing as “placebo effect” in practical terms; either something works against the cancer itself, or you’re dead. So the “control” group is effectively people on death sentences because their treatment has been proved to not work, while the “experimental” group sorts out which other treatments work or not.
ShrinkWrapped has a post illustrating this:
The FDA Is Going to Kill Us All!!
The precautionary principle is easy to dispose of in the case of My. Ryan. Current treatment options offered him, at maximum, an extra two months of life and would be accompanied by hugely unpleasant side effects guaranteed to impact upon his quality of life. Mr. Ryan was facing certain death from a terrible illness and was not allowed to avail himself of a possibly effective treatment (which has had minimal side effects in those patients who have already been studied) because it might harm him. This is cruel and sadistic, all in the name of bureaucratic rules.
Bad enough? It can get worse,
Obamarcare will make all of these problems worse. Bureaucratic panels will be set up to determine which treatments are cost effective and safe; while this sounds good in theory, in practice bureaucrats always follow the first rule of bureaucracy, CYA. As a result risky, leading edge treatments, which also tend to cost a great deal more than mature technologies, will have even higher regulatory hurdles to jump over in order to become available. There is, however, one group that should do very well under Obamacare: Administration Considering Big Payback to Trial Lawyers.
Go read the whole post.
By the way, ShrinkWrapped has been a practicing MD for several decades. Listen to what he has to say.