I travel to The National Press Club in DC for briefings about health policy, clinical research, and lively discussions on health economics and cost control. From time to time, I am dismayed or underwhelmed by a member or two of the expert panels. Driven by profit motives and opportunity, a lack of authenticity in a live discussion diminishes their expertise on the written page.
A reliable source of relevant discussion and insights has been the Commonwealth Fund.
David Blumental MD, President of the Commonwealth Fund is passionately guiding our way to healthcare that matters. I suggest you follow the podcast, New DIrections in Health Care and follow the evolution...better yet? Join the revolution.
“The big drug companies have been notoriously ineffective in developing new drugs, and most of the new drugs that they develop are now being purchased or licensed from small biotech companies, so though they make a big point about research and development, their actual research and development is not very effective, and I think more transparency into what they do and how they do it would be useful.”--David Blumenthal, MD
Here are a few highlights from the brief podcast episode:
“Drugs don’t make up most of health care costs, but they have grown faster than the overall rate of the economy in the last few years, and there have been a couple of notable years of prescription drug costs recently, particularly in 2014, associated with the introduction of some new cures for hepatitis C and new cancer drugs and other treatments as well.” -- Mark McCellam MD
“There are no rules. There’s no legislation. You just basically, as a drug company, have the ability to set the price, and if the government has given you a monopoly – and that’s what a patent is – then there are no competitors for your drug, and so you can charge essentially whatever you want. You don’t have to worry that a lot of people won’t have access to the drug, because you’re going to make a lot of money on a few people, and that’s exactly what happens.” -- Gerard Anderson
"And there is pressure to speed up approvals for so-called biosimilars, which are generic versions of biologic medications."-- Sandy Hausman I am surprised that this statement was not edited or revised. Biosimilars are NOT generic versions of biologic medications. Only small molecule drugs have generic formulations. We need to use correct terminiolgy to educate the public about discussions surrounding biologics and biosimilars. They are not bioequivalent.--Bonny
"Overall, spending growth is down a bit this year, but it’s still projected to be higher than the overall rate of growth for the economy, and it’s still projected to be a significant part of overall health care spending growth, and with rising health care costs and concerns about affordability and access to cures, this is certainly going to be an important policy issue for the coming years.” --Dr. Mark McClellan, Director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy
Think about it. According to Dr Blumenthal, if the amount of money we spend on healthcare was floated out to sea as a nation, it would have the 6th largest economy in the world.
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“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”
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