The Commonwealth Government constituted the Medicare Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) to implement its commitment to entrench the principles of evidence-based medicine in Australian clinical practice. With its recent review of positron emission tomography (PETReview), the Commonwealth intervened in an established MSAC process, and sanctioned the stated objective to restrict expenditure on the technology. In our opinion: The evaluation of evidence by PETReview was fundamentally compromised by a failure to meet the terms of reference, poor science, poor process and unique decision-making benchmarks. By accepting the recommendations of PETReview, the Commonwealth is propagating information which is not of the highest quality. The use of inferior-quality information for decision-making by doctors, patients and policy-makers is likely to harm rather than enhance healthcare outcomes.