Bioethics, medical ethics, public health, public policy, WHO, World Health Organization, Yellow Brick Award

WHO(se) life is it anyway? (Or “We meant well”)

The Miami Herald (with a HatTip to Drug Wonks) reports on the Lancet’s report on the World Health Organization’s lack of evidence for its “evidence based” recommendations and guidelines.

I like this part (From the The Miami Herald) the best:

One unnamed WHO director was quoted in the study as saying: “I would have liked to have had more evidence to base recommendations on.” Another said: “We never had the evidence base well-documented.”

Pang said that, while some guidelines might be suspect and based on just a few expert opinions, others were developed under rigorous study and so were more reliable.

For example, WHO’s recent advice on treating bird flu patients was developed under tight scrutiny.

Oxman also noted that WHO had its own quality-control process. When its 1999 guidelines for treating high blood pressure were criticized for, among other things, recommending expensive drugs over cheaper options without proven benefit, the agency issued its “guidelines for writing guidelines,” which led to a revision of its advice on hypertension.

“People are well-intended at WHO,” Oxman said. “The problem is that good intentions and plausible theories aren’t sufficient.”

Edited January 27, 2010 to add “WHO” and “World Health Organization” labels.

Edited 3/27/2012 – formatting


About bnuckols

Conservative Christian Family Doctor, promoting conservative news and views. (Hot Air under the right wing!)


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