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Gary Baune, Fargo, Published April 13 2012

Carlson, PRACS the best

I had the unique privilege to have been associated with Jim Carlson, Pharm D /entrepreneur when I was a just-out-of-college-wannabe medical illustrator – more than 25 years ago. His inception and management of PRACS Institute, as professor at North Dakota State University and at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine/VA Hospital in Fargo, has been proved in the test of time. Although I am not employed by the company, I feel compelled to comment about the current state of affairs.

For more than a spotless quarter century, the PRACS vision has helped provide less costly and more reliable health care in our nation; first for our veterans and then for the public. Plus, I believe the record will note that the PRACS founding pioneer model has elevated FDA standards, such that nonstandard deviations, whether scientific or fiscal, are scrutinized to the highest degree in maintaining trustworthy data.

For instance, from the beginning, the notion of a PRACS Investigative Review Board composed of concerned citizens, clergy, medical professionals and others was a responsible first-tier filter to accept only procedures that are safe, respectful and good for society. It is that exact same culture we expect every step of the way in our own health care – a trust that unites us with our providers.

I have met many PRACS employees over the years, and they are very good, meticulous investigators who actually did well in organic chemistry. They have written high-level scientific white papers and honor their discipline exponentially – of which, content-wise, I have no clue.

However, I will note in my “rough sketch real world observation lab journal” that the infraction which has precipitated this current headline is not on account of the bean scientists but rather from inaccurate bean counters (a time clock accounting violation/

bankruptcy strategy, not a research data fudge).

Fair warning: Let us be concerned when we put bean counters and politicians in charge of health care. But, that is a discussion for tomorrow, and, hopefully, we have it before our time runs out.