December 14, 2019

Pharmaceutical policies

Medicamentos, innovación tecnológica y economía; (2019), nº 160

This issue of Papeles de Economia Española explains the current situation of pharmaceutical policies in Spain. These are the topics:

La industria farmacéutica en la actualidad: un vistazo a sus características

La evolución reciente y perspectivas de la innovación
de medicamentos
Ética, medicamentos e innovación
La economía de la I+D en la industria farmacéutica: un resumen
Innovación y competencia en el sector farmacéutico en la época de la medicina de precisión
La innovación y la industria farmacéutica en España
La I+D en el sector farmacéutico español en el período 2003-2015

La evolución de la organización empresarial en la industria farmacéutica
La política de la competencia en la industria farmacéutica
La contribución del sector farmacéutico al crecimiento, a las exportaciones y a la inversión en España

Gestión de la prestación farmacéutica y compras públicas en la Comunidad de Madrid
Procedimiento de selección de medicamentos en atención primaria en Andalucía
La experiencia de gestión de los medicamentos en Cataluña. Objetivos de salud y económicos

La trayectoria metodológica de la evaluación de la eficiencia y su futuro
El valor de las innovaciones médicas
La evaluación de la eficiencia de intervenciones y tecnologías sanitarias en España

Industria farmacéutica en España: innovación y compromiso social
El sector de los medicamentos genéricos en España
Medicamentos biosimilares: una oportunidad para el Sistema Nacional de Salud
40 años de autocuidado en España.
Un sector consolidado y emergente

December 12, 2019

Books of the year

The Economist
Financial Times
Prospect (economics)

Top ten books of 2019 by Eric Topol

December 11, 2019

Laboratory medicine as a data science

Data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning: Opportunities for laboratory medicine and the value of positive regulation

Artificial intelligence (AI) and data science are rapidly developing in healthcare, as is their translation into laboratory medicine.
These are the four areas that the authors consider that AI will have impact:

  • Processes and care pathways
  • Laboratory test ordering and interpretation
  • Data mining, early diagnosis, and proactive disease monitoring
  • Personalized treatment and clinical trials
Meanwhile there is a long way ahead.

Jacob Lawrence, This is Harlem, 1943. Gouache and pencil on paper. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966. Artwork © The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photograph by Cathy Carver

December 3, 2019

The fight between commercialism and professionalism in medicine (3)

The Price We Pay
What Broke American Health Care--and How to Fix It

Health care is perhaps today’s most divisive, territorial political issue. But many of the needed solutions are not partisan; they’re American. We are at a pivotal juncture. Spending on health care threatens every aspect of American society. The time for commonsense reform has arrived. All of us can play a part in driving badly needed reforms, both in the marketplace and in the policy world.
As a society, we should embrace a basic set of patient rights, including a right to obtain a timely quote for a shoppable medical service. Lawmakers should look at the price transparency trails blazed by Florida, New Hampshire, and Maine. The prerequisite of any free market is viewable pricing information—not just inflated charges, but the actual amounts of settled bills. New policies should ensure a level playing field to make the free market functional again, to cut the waste and restore competition to the marketplace.
I disagree with the author. Competition it is not the tool for a fairer health care. Wishfull thinking will not drive us to an improvement.

December 1, 2019

The fight between commercialism and professionalism in medicine (2)

The Public Creation of the Corporate Health Care System

A second book on the same topic on US healthcare. And the regulatory messages are:
Despite the political uproar surrounding the ACA, many citizens, including the legislation's opponents, acknowledged the need for some type of reform. Indeed, ACA antagonists were most effective raising the specter of how federal programming would worsen health care rather than boasting about prevailing arrangements. Poor service distribution, fragmented care, and uneven service quality had long characterized U.S. medicine. But policymakers and voters were primarily concerned about the uninsured and the exorbitant costs that ranked American health care as the world's most expensive. These flaws helped push the ACA over the finish line. And the program has thus far proven resilient, withstanding presidential and congressional contests as well as significant court challenges.
The ACA built new rooms atop a defective, jerry-built edifice. The public option would have put the nation firmly on the path toward a nationalized, universal system by creating a government-managed plan and using regulations and mandates to enfeeble and eventually drive out private coverage. Readers can decide for themselves the wisdom of creating a centralized system. Nonetheless, because the ACA failed to secure fundamental, structural reform, it will be unable to rein in costs while also maintaining or improving the quality of care. Indeed, this narrative has illustrated how a fusion of public and private power constructed an institutionally tangled health care system that, even under the banner of comprehensive reform, policymakers were ultimately unable to rescue from the insurance company model.
Right now it seems that ACA is not enough. Let's wait and see.

November 29, 2019

The fight between commercialism and professionalism in medicine

Remaking the American Patient
How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine
Turned Patients into Consumers

I've found this book of interest specially for europeans. Our health systems are currently under pressure. Public budgets are constrained and the private sector is growing. If you want to know what happens next, then this is the book to read. Just to prevent the disaster that comes afterwards, remember that US life expectancy has been declining in the last three years!. Maybe the time to act is now, just to avoid this predictable outcome. Take care.

November 28, 2019

Digital health transformation

Health in the 21st Century
Putting Data to Work for Stronger Health Systems

A new report by OECD highlights the potential digital health environment. We are still far from what they say. However, while reading it you'll be aware of its relevance. Chapter 5 is a must read:

Big data, and big data analytics, can be used at all three levels of health promotion and disease prevention – research, surveillance, and intervention – by:
-Allowing a more precise identification of at-risk populations, through a more comprehensive understanding of human health and disease, including the interaction between genetic, lifestyle, and environmental determinants of health;
-Enabling better surveillance of both communicable and non-communicable diseases; and
- Facilitating better targeted strategies and interventions to improve health promotion and
disease prevention.