December 1, 1993

Reimbursement for Unproven Therapies: The Case of Thermography

Author Affiliations

Lafayette, La

JAMA. 1993;270(21):2558. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510210044019

To the Editor.  —I feel compelled to comment on the misrepresentations and misinformation included in the article entitled "Court-Ordered Reimbursement for Unproven Medical Technology: Circumventing Technology Assessment" by Ferguson et al.1 More important, the lThermography is likened to Laetrile (amygdalin) and immunoaugmentive therapy as having "been assessed as not safe, not effective, or inadequately evaluated." Yet, thermography has been declared safe by the Food and Drug Administration (Victor Zafra, written communication, March 12,1982), considered as useful by the American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs2 in the evaluation of certain neuromusculoskeletal conditions, and effective by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation3 in the evaluation of reflex sympathetic dystrophy. In contrast, similar support for Laetrile and immunoaugmentive therapy by organizations does not exist. Ferguson et al create the false perception that thermography is some type of unproven, fringe technology when in fact it is not.