In his stirring remarks at the opening of the IXth World Congress of Cardiology in Moscow Dr Mahler, Director General of the World Health Organization, made some critical comments about high technology medicine. He also made some favorable references to the results of treating hypertension. Many will agree with Dr Mahler, but I see a danger in his criticisms of modern technology, for it confuses ends and means. The end is better prevention and/or treatment of disease by simple, effective and, preferably, cheap methods. Evolution of those methods may require application of the most sophisticated technology. The treatment of hypertension is a case in point. The medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, and clinical research that have led to therapeutic use of antihypertensive drugs involved a great deal of very sophisticated science. The output of that science may have been in medicine that a nurse or medical assistant can use, but if the resources of medical care had all been devoted to training medical auxiliaries there would have been no medicines for them to use.
KeywordsAngiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitor Renal Artery Stenosis Left Ventricular Failure Sophisticated Technology Hypertensive Encephalopathy
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