Would Comparative Effectiveness Reduce Patients’ Options?

Erik Greb PharmTech editorThis month, lawmakers such as Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) have introduced a flurry of healthcare-reform bills that provide for comparative-effectiveness (CE) research. Supporters of CE research say that it could cut unnecessary costs by identifying the treatments that produce the best results. Federal and state governments’ share of the national healthcare bill could consequently be lighter, yet critics fear that promoting CE research could give the government too much power over treatment. Read more »

Don’t Delay Affordable Healthcare

Erik Greb PharmTech editorPresident Obama’s plan for lowering the cost of healthcare relies partly on ensuring that affordable generic drugs are available to patients. This strategy is not likely to be palatable to innovator companies, who have tried various ways of delaying generic drugs’ introduction to the market. Read more »

To Lead, You Need Followers

Erik Greb PharmTech editorThe wait may soon be over for US Food and Drug Administration employees wondering who their new boss will be. President Obama is expected to introduce Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas today as his new nominee for secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Read more »

Cutting Costs, but Not at Patients’ Expense

Erik Greb PharmTech editorMany state legislatures are looking for ways to keep their healthcare costs down. Given our difficult economy, attempts at fiscal prudence do not come as a surprise. What’s heartening is that many states’ bills draw a link between healthcare expenses and doctor–patient confidentiality. Read more »

BIO Offers Advice on Solving Healthcare Crisis

Maribel Rios PharmTech editorUniversal healthcare remains a hotly debated topic as the country prepares for a new executive administration. Already future Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Daschle has pointed to public access of generic medicines as an integral part of the solution, to the approval of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association. Today, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) released its “critical principles” toward universal healthcare, with an emphasis on innovation in therapies and diagnostics. Read more »

Speaking with Actions or Words?

Erik Greb PharmTech editorNew Hampshire’s 2006 “Prescription Information Law” raised questions about the boundaries between speech, actions, and privacy. Last week, the First US Circuit Court of Appeals answered those questions by ruling that the law is constitutional. The ruling overturned a 2007 US District Court decision. Read more »

Waxman to Head Key House Committee

Jill Wechsler Washington EditorIn a sharp break with Washington tradition, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif) unseated long-time top Democrat on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, John Dingell (D-Mich), to become the panel’s new chairman. The House Democratic caucus backed Waxman for the job after a hotly contested campaign in which Waxman claimed to be better positioned to work with the new Obama administration to enact environmental and health care legislation. Read more »

Daschle to Spearhead Health Reform Efforts

Jill Wechsler Washington EditorPresident-elect Barack Obama is moving quickly in selecting former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle as the potential secretary of Health and Human Services. Daschle has been a close advisor to Obama and may now be the administration’s point person on moving health reform legislation through Congress. Reform advocates consider the selection a sign that the Obama administration will seek to fulfill its promises to make health reform a top priority. Read more »

PhRMA Votes for Itself

Erik Greb PharmTech editorThe 2008 election is only a week away, and much of the public discussion focuses on the presidential race between Obama and McCain. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that voters will also choose their US senators and representatives. This point is not lost on the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Read more »

Sunshine on My (Doctor’s) Shoulder

Erik Greb PharmTech editorSuccess can be a mixed blessing, as the pharmaceutical industry well knows. Drug companies have prospered by developing and marketing new medicines that improve patients’ lives. But the industry’s impressive profits also bring public scrutiny and criticism. Sometimes the criticism is warranted, sometimes it’s unwarranted. Read more »

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