With the United States spending more on healthcare than any other country — $2.5 trillion, or just over $8,000 per capita, in 2009 — the question has long been, is it worth it? At least for spending on cancer, a controversial new study answers with an emphatic “yes.” . . .
Experts shown an advance copy of the paper by Reuters argued that the tricky statistics of cancer outcomes tripped up the authors.
“This study is pure folly,” said biostatistician Dr. Don Berry of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. “It’s completely misguided and it’s dangerous. Not only are the authors’ analyses flawed but their conclusions are also wrong.”
Ouch. Arguably the study shouldn’t be getting any coverage at all, but given that it’s in the news, it’s good to see it get shot down. I wonder if the authors will respond to Don Berry and say they’re sorry for making so many mistakes and wasting his time.
P.S. Just to take this out of a left-right political rut, I’ve heard that the sorts of mistakes made in this article—attributing inappropriate policy implications to unadjusted comparisons—have also been done by anti-smoking activists when arguing on the purported economic and health effects of cigarettes.