“HIV-Infected Infant Cured With Early Use of AIDS Drugs”
Perhaps it’s because I was on the run from the cops, but I hadn’t heard about this until just now. From Bloomberg:
Doctors say they have cured an infant born with HIV for the first time by giving her a cocktail of drugs shortly after birth, a result that could point the way toward saving the lives of thousands more infected children.
The baby, whose identity has been kept anonymous, began a regimen of AIDS drugs about 30 hours after she was born at a rural Mississippi hospital, doctors said yesterday at a medical meeting in Atlanta. At 18 months, the mother took the child off the medication. With no signs of the virus for 10 months, the infant was deemed “functionally cured,” researchers said.
While HIV treatments can hold the disease at bay, stopping them can be a death sentence, allowing infected cells secreted within the immune system to re-emerge. Administering the mix of drugs right after birth may have stopped the virus from forming hidden reservoirs. If confirmed in further studies, the approach could help cure some of the 300,000 children infected yearly.
Naturally, this is fantastic news, and I almost feel crass by following such an upbeat story with a serious set of questions: will ObamaCare — with its attendant destruction of the free-ish market health care system, from disallowing physician-owned hospitals to heavily taxing medical device makers and suppliers, et al — reduce R&D, or so punish drug companies by shortening patents on certain drugs, that the kinds of advances in medicine we’re used to seeing in the US are gradually and economically killed off, having been starved of funding and private investment?
I ask this with no real attempt to make a political point; rather, I wonder if, as a function of what is now law, we are setting ourselves up to fewer and fewer medical breakthroughs — which, when we think about what it is ObamaCare is attempting to do, namely, manage health care costs through a top-down government imposed system that will, at some point, be making decisions on who is worthy of what care (think Paul Krugman’s “death panels”), could actually be considered a feature, from the standpoint of the laws economic future.
Now, later today I plan to make a political point concerning ObamaCare and the GOP’s surrendering to Reid, Pelosi, Obama, and the Democrats — at the expense of the American people, who still overwhelmingly oppose the law, but who can’t seem to find anyone to represent them in Congress, no matter which party they vote for.
For now, though, I’m truly curious: will we see a decline in such medical marvels as a result of ObamaCare, or does it contain mechanisms for funding medical research (that is, taxpayer subsidies) that are consonant with privately-funded investments and a free market capitalist approach to advancing medicine and health care?
Sorry if these are ignorant questions. But honestly, I haven’t yet gotten around to reading the 2700 page law — nor the thousands upon thousands of attendant regulatory pages.
(h/t Jim Geraghty)