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The Donald S. Fredrickson Papers

[Interview with NIH Director Donald Fredrickson on costs and technology] transcript of audio
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(movie icon) High resolution Quicktime (1,050,662 Bytes)
(movie icon) High resolution RealMedia (873,072 Bytes)

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NOTE: The digital version of this interview is imperfect as the original recording is slightly noisy and jumpy.
Running Time:
1 minute, 25 seconds
1978-03-22 (March 22, 1978)
Fredrickson, Donald S.
Interviewer: Johnson, Timothy
Interview with NIH Director Donald Fredrickson. WCVB-TV taping of the television program "House Call." 01:15:52:00-01:17:17:00 on DigiBeta tape.
Metadata Record House Call (March 22, 1978)
Reproduced with permission of WCVB-TV.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Costs and Cost Analysis
Exhibit Category:
NIH Director, 1975-1981: Biomedical Research in a Time of Trial
Metadata Record [Interview with NIH Director Donald Fredrickson on NIH as research] (March 22, 1978) qtmovie (417,359 Bytes) realmovie (345,350 Bytes) transcript of audio
Metadata Record [Interview with NIH Director Donald Fredrickson on the future of research] (March 22, 1978) qtmovie (857,847 Bytes) realmovie (715,583 Bytes) transcript of audio
Metadata Record [Interview with NIH Director Donald Fredrickson on the nature of discovery] (March 22, 1978) qtmovie (327,522 Bytes) realmovie (279,309 Bytes) transcript of audio
Box Number:
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Video recordings
Physical Condition:
Series: Audio-Visual Materials, 1978-1997
SubSeries: Visual Materials, 1978-1997
Folder: House Call with Dr. Timothy Johnson, 1978 Mar
TIMOTHY JOHNSON: Now you made passing reference in describing that to the issue of cost, and obviously that raises a serious issue in our economy. The general impression is medical costs in general are sort of out of control and that the costs of technology in particular seem to be rising at an exponential rate. How much concern is there, in the research community, to be cost-conscious, in terms of developing new techniques, passing them on before they might be fully proven or understood in terms of their cost-effective ratio? Do you find researchers becoming more cost-conscious today? Are the National Institutes cost-conscious?
DONALD S. FREDRICKSON: Without any question, nowadays we are much more cost-conscious than we, or anybody else, was before. And one of our responsibilities, we think, is to try and sit down and reach a consensus, every so often, on new inventions and new machines to determine what they really are going to be worth, in terms of the actual costs and benefits that we hope to get from them.
TJ: How do you really do this in a practical way? I mean, once the machinery is there, once the blinking lights are there, it's very difficult for both patients and doctors to resist them.
DSF: It's very difficult. And of course, it's impossible in many ways to turn off the possibility of inventing something new before it's even started. What you try to do is control the development, move it in directions that are eminently practical, and try to ask careful questions all the way along. Ask hard questions. And don't accept something just because it's different. It's got to be better, as well as different.
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