theodp writes "A 2004 study found some 10 million women lacking a cervix were still getting Pap tests. Only problem is, a Pap test screens for cervical cancer — no cervix, no cancer. With this tale, Newsweek's Sharon Begley makes her case for comparative-effectiveness research (CER), which is receiving $1 billion under the stimulus bill for studies to determine which treatments, including drugs, are more medically sound and cost-effective than others for a given ailment. Physicians, Begley says, must stop treatments that are rooted more in local medical culture than in medical science, embrace practices that have been shown scientifically to be superior to others, and ignore critics who paint CER as government control of doctors' decision-making."
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