Are they ever justified?
- By: Julian Sheather
When it comes to innovative treatment the word “miracle” is often overused. But ask yourself if the following might qualify. You develop a pill. It is potentially effective—that is, it may be able to deliver some therapeutic benefit, for almost all patients and—this is the miracle bit—in relation to almost all conditions.
It is extremely, in fact vanishingly, cheap to produce. It has no known side effects, and however large the dose it is not toxic. It is as safe and effective for children as it is for adults, although the benefits for babies and the very youngest children have not been calibrated. It is easily tolerated, and concordance is a doddle as it really does not matter if you miss a dose or two. There are no patent issues, intellectual property is not at stake, and, if necessary, you can make the pills at home.
There is, inevitably, one