Private health insurers have contributed nothing of value to the American healthcare system

SUMMARY: Los Angeles Times…”The most perplexing aspect of our current debate over healthcare and health coverage is the notion that Americans love their health insurance companies. The truth is that private health insurers have contributed nothing of value to the American healthcare system. Instead, they have raised costs and created an entitled class of administrators and executives who are fighting for their livelihoods, using customers’ premium dollars to do so.” Ouch

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Stop blaming pharma for your bad habit​s

KEY SUMMARY: The idea that pharma “likes to keep people sick” is an excuse for poor lifestyle choices. The percentage of people who are overweight or obese soared from 22 percent in 1994 to 42 percent in 2016, nearly doubling. Obesity impacts where consumers spend their money. An individual with a body mass index (BMI) that’s considered “obese” spends 42 percent more on direct health care costs than adults who are a healthy weight.

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Cancer death rates declining but

  • Death rates from cancer declined by 19%. Death rates from heart disease declined by 22% until 2011 but increased by 4% from then to 2017.
  • Cancer was still the major killer and had a higher death rate compared to heart disease. In fact, the cancer mortality rate in 2017 was nearly 40% higher than that for heart disease.
  • There is now strong evidence excessive weight is the cause of at least 12 cancers, five more than when the last WCRF recommendations were published in 2007.
  • Obesity is likely to overtake smoking as the “number one risk factor for cancer” within decades.
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Reducing cancer risk by 40%

  • Avoiding bacon and alcohol could help reduce the risk of cancer up to 40%, experts suggested as they unveiled what has been dubbed the “blueprint” to beat the disease.
  • obesity likely to overtake smoking as the “number one risk factor for cancer” within decades.
  • There is now strong evidence excessive weight is the cause of at least 12 cancers, five more than when the last WCRF recommendations were published in 2007.
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Fake medical news threatens our lives

  • While misinformation has been the object of great attention in politics, medical misinformation might have an even greater body count.
  • False medical information can also lead to patients’ experiencing greater side effects through the “nocebo effect.”
  • Cancer is another big target for pushers of medical misinformation — many of whom are making money off alternative therapies.
  • Fake news represents a huge opportunity for pharma to lead the conversation.
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Pharma companies lag in digital transformation

  • The life sciences industry’s commitment to digital transformation is increasing, but few organizations are digitally maturing.
  • Digital transformation is no longer a buzzword, but a strategic imperative for life sciences companies.
  • While first movers would likely gain a competitive advantage, all of today’s companies risk falling behind their competitors in delivering across all elements of the value chain if their strategies are limited to a few pilots and experiments.
  • Life sciences companies have been fast followers in adopting new technologies, but waiting too long to commit could leave some companies with portions of their value chains disrupted in an ever more price-conscious segment.
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Growth in the cost of health care has put sustained downward pressure on wages and incomes

  • Rapid growth in the cost of U.S. health care has put sustained downward pressure on wages and incomes.
  • This rapid growth of spending has not purchased notably high-quality care, however.
  • U.S. spending on health care is higher than in peer countries, while quality is lower.
  • These high costs cannot be attributed to overuse of health care in America; instead, it is clear that the high price of health care is the culprit. Prices for pharmaceuticals, physician salaries, and medical procedures are almost uniformly higher in the U.S. than in peer countries—sometimes staggeringly so.

Source:Economic Policy Institute 

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