Marc, I don't believe most doctors treating CCSVI are making 10k per patient. I have insurance and after the adjustments, my doctors were paid less than half of that. That is not a lot of profit after paying for facilities, equipment, and personnel.
I don't know about the medical device companies, but they certainly haven't jumped forward to help yet.
And, I do believe some of the IRs are doing some pretty good follow-up.
Not trying to argue, but some of the statements made are not factual.
Well, I did say grossed $20 million.
It's true that insurance companies are likely not paying the full $10,000. But patients from other countries, like Canada, are paying out-of-pocket, and they are paying the full cost. Americans who traveled overseas also paid full cost. But for argument sake, let's say the average procedure has grossed $5000 (probably a low estimate at this date). It's been estimated that somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 procedures have been done, so it's go for the middle and say 25,000 procedures have so far been done worldwide. That means that CCSVI treatment has thus far grossed $125 million. Not a small chunk of change.
Given that the amount of patients treated thus far are just a tiny percentage of MS patients worldwide, the profit potential for CCSVI treatment is tremendous. The way the medical research in this country has evolved is that the entities that stand to profit from the research generally fund medical studies (a horrible system, IMO, but it is what it is). It would therefore stand to reason that IRs, or the organizations that employ or represent them, should play a major part in funding CCSVI research initiatives.
As far as patient follow-up goes, there may indeed be some doctors that are doing a diligent job, but I honestly haven't seen much evidence for this. I guess it all depends on what qualifies as good follow-up. Most of the follow-up being done seems to entail patients self reporting their conditions, which as a research tool is known to yield highly inaccurate results. Unfortunately, at this point, this may be the only option out there. It does seem that there are treating physicians that hardly do any follow-up, but I'm just going by what has been anecdotally reported by patients on the Internet and in their correspondence to me.