Why can’t health care just “do the right things”?

Only nine percent of U.S. consumers believe pharma and biotech companies put patients over profits, while only 16 percent believe health insurance companies do, according to a Harris Poll while the new affordable care act is nothing short of a train wreck.  Can consumers ever expect healthcare organizations to do the right thing?

Long-term shareholders in major U.S. drug companies expressed outrage that their attempts to elicit greater transparency around excessive price increases on critical drugs is being actively thwarted by management. In addition[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””] the GOP answer to the Affordable Care Act was unveiled only yesterday, and it’s already about as big a hit as New Coke.[/inlinetweet] Nobody seems to like it or even see it as an improvement over what we already have, save Paul Ryan and the underlings whose job it is to convince the public that they agree with Paul Ryan. Liberals hate it. Conservatives hate it. And low-income Americans will definitely hate it, once they realize what’s in it.

And, of course, let’s not forget that drug makers are now pointing the fingers of expensive prices at drug middlemen who are raking in tons of rebates.  Again, while this is going on,

  • [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Between 33 percent and 80 percent of cancer survivors exhaust their savings to finance medical expenses.[/inlinetweet]
  • Up to 34 percent borrow money from friends or family to pay for care.
    For those who fall into debt, the level of debt is substantial. In a study of colon cancer survivors in Washington state, the mean debt was $26,860.
  • [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Bankruptcy rates among cancer survivors are 260 percent higher than among similar households without cancer.[/inlinetweet]

What all this means for patients, caregivers and consumers is that it’s THEIR responsibility to cut through the maze of American healthcare to get better care.

We have seen the headlines indicating that the spending on DTC hit record levels last year but the fact remains that DTC ads, on TV especially, are becoming more and more ineffective.  Some pharma companies are trying to help patients get on and stay on therapy, but it’s proving both costly and difficult.

The main challenge for pharma and insurance companies is to earn back the trust of people who are being exposed to a toxic, lying President and who feel that services intended to help them only work for the wealthy.