Discussing Health Policy

In this STAT article, Michael Gusmano discusses possible concerns with a new Alzheimer's treatment.

Story by

Emily Collins

Michael Gusmano, professor of health policy, is featured in the STAT article, "Costly Alzheimer’s treatment is spreading around the world, with virtually no science to back it up."

An Alzheimer's treatment known as "transcranial pulse stimulation" is largely unproven, but it has exploded far beyond German borders: In just two years, around 85 clinics across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the U.S have begun offering the therapy.

The treatment is largely unregulated and expensive, writes STAT, and the science behind TPS is far from convincing, according to experts.

"This technology may turn out to be very effective. It may turn out to be terrific. But at this stage, I don’t think we have adequate evidence," said Gusmano.

The European Union’s lax medical-device regulations are underpinned by a moral duty to provide seriously ill patients with new technologies as soon as possible, especially if there are no alternatives. However, a slower, more deliberative approach may actually be more conducive to helping these patients in the long run, suggests Gusmano.

"New isn’t always better. This isn’t about trying to inappropriately slow the use of technology. It’s about trying to most appropriately select and use those technologies that are actually good value," he said.

The full article can be read on the STAT website.

In addition to his role as professor, Gusmano serves as the associate dean for academic programs, and the Director of the Center for Ethics at Lehigh. Along with his appointment at Lehigh, Dr. Gusmano is a research scholar at The Hastings Center. His scholarship focuses on health and social policy in the United States and internationally.

Story by

Emily Collins