Web Exclusives

Based on a Presentation titled, “Work Absenteeism and Bed Days in Chronic Medical Disorder Patients with and without Depression in the United States, 2004-2005,” presented by Jayashri Sankaranarayanan, PhD, at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research Annual International Meeting, May 2008, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Results of a new study have shown that fewer than 50% of a sample of elderly hospitalized people think that generic drugs are as effective or as safe as brand-name medications.1 This is sure to add to the increasing clamour for more patient and physician education about generic equivalence and the cost benefits to the consumer, as well as to the health plan in utilizing these therapeutic options.

Taking a sweeping view of the economic trends in US healthcare, Uwe Reinhardt, PhD, James Madison Professor of Political Economy and Professor of Economics and Political Affairs at Princeton University, paints a cautiously optimistic view of healthcare spending reform. Delivering the Simon Dack Lecture at the 2009 annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), Dr Reinhardt predicts some progress in the near future but says getting healthcare spending down will be a prolonged struggle that will take more than 1 or 2 years.

The current economic crisis offers an opportunity to focus on priorities in healthcare in an effort to enact true healthcare reform, said Len Nichols, PhD, healthcare economist and Director of the Health Policy Program at the New America Foundation, during the 2009 annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

Ms Nancy-Ann DeParle, Director of the White House Office of Health Reform and a former administrator with Medicare and Medicaid, says President Obama’s key goals for healthcare reform and the process to get there have a good chance of succeeding. “The goals are to keep the costs low, include private plans, provide a competitive choice for consumers, and include a government plan.”

At the recent 2010 Digestive Disease Week (DDW) meeting, positive data were presented for several investigational drugs close to approval for gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, including hepatitis C virus (HCV), Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and constipation. 

Several new drugs, currently at advanced stages of development, were featured during the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) in March 2009.

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