Immigrants are key to the US economy, especially in health care. Quite a bit of the anti-immigration fervor has focused on how immigrants (legal and illegal) put a strain on the health care system. I’m sympathetic to specific communities where this occurs, but overall immigrants provide a lot more to the US health care system than they receive.
An insurer-owned website provides information for doctors and patients about the amount of radiation associated with various scans. I like the site because it raises awareness about radiation exposure and provides alternative recommendations patients can discuss with their physicians. Some radiologists are unhappy about it, though, and I respond to their critique.
Entrepreneurs and private industry more generally are underappreciated assets in the health care reform debate. Some entrepreneurs are already helping the US turn the corner on the key dimensions of quality, cost, access and patient safety. We should encourage politicians to create the conditions under which such entrepreneurs can thrive.
The distribution of prescription pharmaceuticals is beginning to take on some of the characteristics of online videos and music. We can predict the evolution of the Rx market by studying these consumer phenomena.
In Kenya, female fishmongers develop sexual relationships with fishermen and middlemen in exchange for fish. But with fish scarce, the men are demanding a higher “price” –demanding sex with the fishmongers’ younger relatives. The result: rampant HIV.
Telerays provides a platform for hospitals and imaging centers to connect with radiologists. Radiologists bid on the interpretation needs of customers (e.g., 100 CT scans), Telerays handles the logistics and takes a commission. I interviewed the CEO.
Big pharma companies are entering the market for “generic biologics.” I argue that this market will be more like the traditional “me-too” big pharma blockbuster model than like the generics pharmaceuticals market. Policymakers should regulate the price of off-patent biologics rather than allowing the me-too market to develop.
Free-market purists like to talk about waiting lists for care in countries with socialized medicine. Yet we have waiting lists right here in Boston. I got called an “incompetent commie” for writing this one, which was a first for me!