April 2008, Vol 1, No 3
New clinical, business, and regulatory healthcare systems are offering unprecedented opportunities for providing quality and value. At the heart of the healthcare debate lay evidence, balance, and competing incentives in search of a point of consensus. Data are poorly understood and do not speak for themselves. Cooperation between stakeholder groups is still elusive, with stakeholder polarization strong, de spite the urge to unite forces. The healthcare system is circling around looking for an organizing principle.
As more and more American families find their budgets pinched by the ever-rising cost of healthcare and a growing volume of scholarly research convinces health policy experts that the quality of American health too often falls short of what it should be—given that Americans spend about twice as much per capita (in purchasing power parity dollars) on healthcare than its neighboring Canada—it is inevitable that the topic of health reform will have a prominent place in the forthcoming presidential elections.
Robert Henry: How are decisions being made for conventional pharmaceutical products on the one hand and biologic products on the other? Biologics have a comparative carte blanche—for now. Attempts at cost-containment in biologic treatment have been shown to be counterproductive, punitive, and not cost-effective. How adept are payors in utilizing conventional pharmaceutical products compared with the biotech products?
CMS Coverage Policies for Biologics: Defining a Lagrangian Point for Cost, Quality, and Access
In 2006 and 2007, the Foundation of Managed Care Pharmacy (FMCP) sponsored a survey of pharmacy, clinical, and business managed care leaders that was supported by an unrestricted grant from Merck & Co and was conducted by The HSM Group, a national healthcare market research and consulting firm.
Emerging Trends in Managed Care Pharmacy: Familiar Gaps but Great Potentials
PPG Industries, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a manufacturer of coatings, chemicals, optical products, specialty materials, glass, and fiberglass. PPG operates more than 125 manufacturing facilities in 23 countries, and has 32,200 employees globally, 20,000 of which are in the United States. From occupational health, PPG has been evolving toward comprehensive employee health.
The Evolution of Health Promotion by Employers
"Comparative effectiveness" research is the best tool available today for making decisions about which new medication, medical device, or diagnostic test is most supported by the evidence.1 The purpose of a systematic review is to synthesize the results of multiple primary studies using explicit and reproducible methods.2,3 Meta-analysis is a form of systematic review that goes one step further.
Meta-Analyses and Patient Care
Among adults responding to the 2006 National Health Interview Survey, 11% reported having feelings of sadness during all, most, or some of the time in the 30 days before the interview; 6% reported feeling hopeless; 5% felt worthless; and 14% felt that everything was an effort.1 Women were more likely to report such symptoms than men (13% vs 9%, respectively). Non-Hispanic black adults and Hispanic adults were more likely to report feelings of sadness or hopelessness than non-Hispanic white adults.
In 2007, generic drugs accounted for an unprecedented 63% of all prescriptions dispensed in the United States.1 This level of generic prescribing is significantly changed from less than a decade ago, when the generic drugs accounted for less than 40% of all prescriptions.2 What has caused this shift in generic utilization, and what are the ongoing and future opportunities and issues of concern for the various stakeholders—health plans, pharmacy benefit plan managers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and consumers?
There is a hunger for reform of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To a great extent, that hunger is fueled by the prevailing sentiment in today's regulatory atmosphere—a drive to make our environment as risk free as possible when it comes to medical treatment.
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