Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How Much is an Autism Cure Worth?

Business Week's Ellen Gibson reports on accelerating efforts to find a drug to effectively treat autism. As the charts from BW above show, the affliction is destined to grow to be hideously expensive--and that's just in dollars-and-cents terms, to say nothing of the enormous human costs.

So again, looking at those sorts of costs, is it cheaper to think about saving money by shaving a few points off the growth trajectory of autism treatment? Or by tackling the problem of autism itself? The answer is obvious.

But in the meantime, Washington DC is abuzz with proposals for reducing the deficit and debt. But the question is whether or not any such budget-cutting commissions will actually think through the best way to cut spending. Will they look, for example, at strategies that involve eliminating the disease--such as a cure for autism? Or will they seek, simply, to reduce the rate of growth on future spending? A look at those charts reminds us: A huge percentage cut in future spending would still be a huge increase from where we are now.

The cheapest treatment is a cure.


  1. Jim: Let me throw you another 'curve' on Autism.

    About 3 yrs. ago my son noticed that with the decline of Rhys-syndrome due to “not taking asprin” that its incidence curve fell off of the table.
    At the same time he noticed that the incidence curve of Autism was taking off like a rocket along with the usage of Acetaminophen (a.k.a. Tylenol and Paracetamol).

    Not being a researcher, he wondered, if there is smoke, could there be a fire? He doesn’t know. But as a Pediatrician, where applicable, he stays away from prescribing Acetaminophen (a.k.a. Tylenol and Paracetamol) as well as asprin.

    Also the University of California @ San Diego’s researchers reported in ‘08 that Acetaminophen use after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination was possibly associated with autistic disorders.

    I don’t know if any of this is true. But where you have big government & big Pharma, one can always smell smoke!

  2. This is a great example of how the simple-minded government bureaucrat view of the world can't address real problems because they have only one tool which is ordering people around in ways that the bureaucrats think they understand. The idea that merely turning power over to them because they want power is going to actually solve any problem whether economic, medical, social, or psychological would be laughable if it wasn't so commonplace.

  3. If the pharmaceutical industry is helping so much with all their petroleum chemical immunization shots, why has autism become a pandemic, affecting 1 out of 150 kids?

    Maybe the cure is worse than the disease! Since Americans have been popping pills like crazy, cancer has gone from one in every 10 people to 1 in every 2 or 3.

    You do the Math. Maybe it's time to find a natural health doctor like a D.N. (Doctor of Naturopathy)!