As President Obama winds down his tenure, he took a parting shot at the pharmaceutical industry.
Tucked within a lengthy essay he wrote to defend the Affordable Care Act, Obama chastised drug makers for their stance on pharmaceutical pricing and challenged the companies to renew their commitment to improving public health.
After lambasting Congress for refusing to work with him to more quickly to provide health coverage, he singled out drug makers as another example of obstinacy. “The pharmaceutical industry oppose(d) any change to drug pricing, no matter how justifiable and modest, because they believe it threatens their profits,” he wrote in an essay in the Journal of the American Medical Association that appeared Monday.
The pharmaceutical industry is highly unregulated at this time in history. Oncologists are having a field day recommending any new FDA chemo drug along with a host of expensive “cocktails”.
I am an advocate for both the IMF AND ICER. My initial recommendation for ICER included the need for clinitions (technicians) to work along with oncologists to assist in evaluating patients on an individual basis and determining a scientific basis of prescribed meds, chemo and stem cell treatments. This will help by pass the the questionable second guessing of recently approved drugs and provide a cost justification for approved med therapies by medical personnel to their patients. Technicians will have advanced training and certification. This advancement within the industry is expected to be ready by August 2016. Stay tuned for future developments.
Mr. Bershader I recommend you read the book “Being Mortal” by Dr. Atul Gawande to understand the thinking process of oncologists. Two complementary points: 1) most terminally ill patients believe that if the oncologist can come up with the “right combination” of drugs they will get more survival. 2) the average oncologist has a pathologic aversion to telling their patients that there is nothing further to offer, and to quote a movie line they go to great lengths to avoid that difficult conversation where they advise the patient to “get busy dying”. In fact Gawande quotes one survey that found that 44% of oncologists would recommend a course of chemotherapy that they KNEW had absolutely zero chance of working.
News to Barry: we’re not a charity.
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