Healthcare innovation saves lives, saves money, promotes economic growth, and provides hope for hundreds of millions of people (both patients and care-givers) in the United States and around the world. But innovation isnâ€™t easy.
There are many roadblocks beyond those of discovery and development. The complicated and conflicting dynamics of politics, perspectives on healthcare economics, of friction between payers, providers, manufacturers, and regulators, the battle for better patient education, and the need for a more forceful and factual debate over the value of innovation all create the need for a more balanced and robust debate.
Should we blame our skewed priorities? American healthcare often works miracles when people become very ill, but it needs to do a better job with preventive care. Equally to blame is the fact that we spend a disproportionate amount of our healthcare budget for end-of-life care.
Rather than tangle up the already volatile healthcare debate in ethical arguments over whose life is worth more, it would be smarter to shift the focus to keeping people healthier longer. Earlier diagnosis and care are crucial to the future health of both Americans and American healthcareâ€”and pharma has a starring role here.We cannot afford, in terms of dollars or lives, to continue the blame game. In order to deliver on the promise of affordable and quality healthcare for all citizens, all the players in the healthcare debate must work together. At the end of the day, we should unite against our common enemyâ€”disease.
And our most potent weapon in innovation.
Hartung DM, Ketchum KL, Haxby DG. An evaluation of Oregon's evidence-based Practitioner-Managed Prescription Drug Plan.Health Affairs 2006;25:1423-32.
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