Editorial

My work at Jefferson University has taken me nearly all over the world, including many cities in Western Europe, Australia, and Japan, but never before to the amazing and alluring nation of India.
I’ve read more than my share of official reports decrying the current state of our ailing healthcare system. Indeed, it’s tantamount to an occupational hazard. Rarely have I read such a scathing, even damning, public report from an irrefutable source such as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. I therefore wish to discuss that consensus study report, titled “Making Medicines Affordable: A National Imperative.”
As far as we know, Hippocrates was the first to formally recognize nutrition as an absolute therapeutic necessity. He is credited with memorable, and still remarkably relevant, quotes such as, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” and “Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can heal the patient with food.”
I have the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors of Humana. One of our core corporate strategies is known as the Bold Goal. In specific markets across the country, Humana will improve the health of the communities it serves in a measurable way: 20% by the year 2020.
I recently came across a very important report that essentially says we are “still at it” with regard to measuring and improving the quality and safety of medical care, especially when it comes to medications.
Like so many other adults older than 60, I have had gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) for years, and I am taking a generic medication for the long-term. Refilling this medication quarterly, even at our university’s hospital-based pharmacy, is inconvenient, and I have to phone in the refill and personally appear to pick it up. There is no delivery option.
Mea culpa—I just didn’t get it! I had read multiple front-page articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer over months, but it just did not get past my “bad news” filter.
I’m confident that many of our readers are familiar with the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), “the world’s largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers, and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations."
Do you practice institutional racism? When I first heard this question, I was admittedly taken aback. It’s not a charge anyone would take lightly.
Despite having attended or participated in nearly 30 commencements in my role as a father and a Dean, I’ve never received an honorary degree until this year. I was thrilled to give the commencement address at Salus University in Philadelphia, PA, and receive an honorary degree for the first time.
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