Pharma continues to fan the flames..

KEY TAKEAWAY: After raising prices on all its drugs in 2017 Pfizer has given their CEO  a total 2017 compensation that spiked up 61% to $27.9 million.  At the same time Allergan  rewarded its CEO Brent Saunders with a $32.8 million pay package—an eightfold increase over 2016.  Despite PhRMA’s social media blast about the root cause of drug prices the media have pharma in their sites once again. Continue reading

Spreading the blame for high health care costs

KEY TAKEAWAY: Accoring to the Economist, “EVERY year America spends about $5,000 more per person on health care than other rich countries do.  With healthcare firms making excess profits of $65bn a year. Surprisingly, the worst offenders are not pharmaceutical firms, but an army of corporate healthcare middlemen”. However, the patient, stick in the middle of this debate, doesn’t care. Continue reading

With the new frontier of digital health comes danger

KEY TAKEAWAY: Theranos, led by CEO and founder Elizabeth Holmes, raised more than $700 million on the promise of a revolutionary blood-testing technology that never materialized. The Securities and Exchange Commission just charged Holmes with “massive fraud.”  Yet shouldn’t the investors have done their “due diligence” before investing money into a promise that was too good to be true? Continue reading

Sorry Mr Pitts, you’re wrong

KEY TAKEAWAY: Peter Pitts, in an Op-Ed entitled “To cut drug prices, start with the facts” wrote “many lawmakers believe that prescription drug prices are skyrocketing. They’re not. In fact, after accounting for all the rebates and discounts manufacturers offer, drug prices have barely budged in recent years. Drug spending grew just 1.3 percent in 2016, according to the latest federal data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Overall health spending increased by 4.3 percent.  Sorry, but in these statistics are some very disturbing trends, Continue reading

Greed is alive and well in our health care system

KEY TAKEAWAY: Money can make corporations, and people, do questionable things.  While we continue to hear words like patient engagement too many pharma and medical device companies are still chasing dollars rather than launching initiatives that actually help people navigate our complex health care system. Continue reading

Why pharma is sales driven

KEY TAKEAWAY: Harvard Business Review found that sales performance is highly correlated with promotion to management. For salespeople, each higher sales rank corresponds to about a 15% higher probability of being promoted to sales management. But, sales performance is actually negatively correlated with performance as a sales manager: when a salesperson is promoted, each higher sales rank is correlated with a 7.5% decline in the performance of each of the manager’s subordinates following the promotion. We found similar results regardless of whether salespeople were promoted to their own team or to new teams. In other words, firms tend to promote top sales workers into management, even though they become the worst managers. Continue reading

Rising out-of-pocket costs

KEY TAKEAWAY: TransUnion Healthcare found patients’ average out-of-pocket costs rose to $1,813 in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 11 percent from $1,630 in the same period the year prior. The analysis also broke down the amount of patient out-of-pocket costs. TransUnion Healthcare said researchers found, on average, nearly half of patients out-of-pocket costs per healthcare visit (49 percent) were lower than $500 in 2017. Thirty-nine percent were $501 to $1,000; and 12 percent exceeded $1,000. Continue reading