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Chair of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Pledges to Recommend Re-evaluation of Recent Glaucoma Findings
Date:10/24/2007

ce of such scientific advances a federally

chartered advisory body would come along and say there is not sufficient

evidence to suggest that a family doctor such as myself should refer

patients at risk to be screened for glaucoma? [The USPSTF] finding

contradicts all recognized standards of care and seemingly contradicts

billions of dollars of scientific research invested by HHS under my

leadership and that of my successors."

Dr. Sullivan was introduced by Former Assistant U.S. Surgeon General and Potomac Senior Fellow, Adm. Roscoe Moore, D.V.M., Ph.D., M.P.H., USPHS (Ret.) who served as a conference co-chair. According to Dr. Moore, "The crux of the conference turned on the question of whether federally-funded clinical trials conducted between 1980 and 2005 had shown clear evidence of benefit to patients from detecting and treating glaucoma." The federal task force had been unable to find conclusive proof through a thorough review of the clinical trials literature and therefore rendered its finding of "insufficient evidence" to recommend for or against screening for glaucoma in Americans. This finding is of major importance because if incorporated into national policy it would affect the care of two million Americans at risk of blindness from glaucoma.

A succession of scientists, including Dr. Richard Parrish, Associate Dean of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Dr. Rohit Varma, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Southern California; and Dr. Eve Higginbotham, Dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine, presented new data, which were not widely available at the time of the task force deliberation, that establish a link between early glaucomatous optic nerve loss and loss in visual function, particularly driving ability. Dr. Javitt presented evidence from the data files maintained by the Medicare program that even moderate vision loss confers significant additional direct cost on the fed
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SOURCE The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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