imgresThe world is losing the battle against diabetes as the number of people estimated to be living with the disease soars to a new record of 382 million this year, medical experts said on Thursday.  The vast majority have type 2 diabetes – the kind linked to obesity and lack of exercise – and the epidemic is spreading as more people in the developing world adopt Western, urban lifestyles.  By 2035, the organization predicts the number of cases will have soared by 55 percent to 592 million.  While pharma targets cancer drugs as a way to replace products coming off patent there seems to be a huge opportunity in the diabetes market.

imgresU.S. regulators and the drug industry want to extend by two months the deadline for the Food and Drug Administration to approve or reject new drugs.  The FDA said it would need an extra 60-day “filing date” before the clock starts ticking on its 10-month deadline to review new drugs, or six months for a priority review.  This means even less time on the market to recoup costs and is one of the reasons why new drug prices are going to continue to climb.

Why drug patent protection needs to be extended

bigstockphoto_health_care_reform_green_road__5632944Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said last summer, “The end of insurance companies, the way we’ve run the business in the past, is here.”.  With the implementation of the affordable care act patients are becoming consumers of healthcare and more than ever want to take a more active role in healthcare decisions.  But what happens when your doctor orders a battery of test for what patients feel is a minor problem ?  Where can they turn for good quality health information ?  The answer to that could and should be insurers but are they ready for a patient/customer centered approach ?

imagesIn an Op-Ed piece in Suday’s Times called “Why we make bad decisions” the author stipulates that “it’s  is also crucial to ask probing questions not only of the experts but of ourselves. This is because we bring into our decision-making process flaws and errors of our own. All of us show bias when it comes to what information we take in. We typically focus on anything that agrees with the outcome we want.  Anxiety, stress and fear — emotions that are part and parcel of serious illness — can distort our choices. Stress makes us prone to tunnel vision, less likely to take in the information we need. Anxiety makes us more risk-averse than we would be regularly and more deferential.  Could this be an explanation as to why compliance is so low and chronic diseases are bankrupting our health care system?

Unknown9Almost a quarter of Americans (23 percent) report they or a family member had problems paying for medical bills in the past year. Difficulty paying bills can lead to tough choices as people negotiate tight budgets. In an effort to allay costs, roughly half (52 percent) report foregoing or delaying medical care in the past year.  What is ironic about these numbers is that people who delay medical care now are often going to wind up paying both a higher price later in dollars and quality of life.

6629088361_602f6c9736_m4According to the CDC four modifiable health risk behaviors—lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption—are responsible for much of the illness, suffering, and early death related to chronic diseases.  7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases. Heart disease, cancer and stroke account for more than 50% of all deaths each year.  Instead of selling quick fixes via medication should the FDA require that all drug.com websites include content on prevention and staying healthy ?

rxtransparencyYou have the right to work with your physician or other prescriber to make informed decisions about your health care and potential treatments. This includes making informed decisions about the medicines you take.    So states the copy on the home page of Prescription Process.com.  It’s a website that gives patients a better understanding as to what actually happens when their doctor writes an Rx.  Do patients care ?  From what I have heard if focus groups and read the answer maybe more than DTC marketers actually are aware.