Opinion | Drug Companies Will Make a Killing From Coronavirus – The New York Times – By Mariana Mazzucato and Azzi Momenghalibaf – March 18, 2020
Unless we fix the system, American taxpayers will get gouged on a vaccine they paid to produce.
The search for treatments and vaccines to curb transmission of the new coronavirus is in overdrive. Fortunately, there are a number of promising candidates thanks to the U.S. government’s investment in biomedical research and development.
As the world’s leader in public financing of biomedical research, the U.S. government has the opportunity to set a precedent to ensure that medicines developed with public funding are accessible and affordable to the public; this will have enormous implications not only how for we deal with the coronavirus, but also for the crisis of unaffordable medicines in America. Continue reading
Unfit for Work: The startling rise of disability in America | Planet Money – By Chana Joffe-Walt – March 2013
This may seem like a strange article to post for someone who’s on disability themselves. However, I know there are many, many people out there scamming our disability system, sometimes for eye-popping amounts.
- Scammers are the ones that give the impression that helping supposedly disabled people is a pointless waste of money.
- Scammers are the ones that will cause the system to go bankrupt.
- Scammer are the ones who cause our own painful conditions to be doubted and denied (for both disability and opioid treatment).
Yet we are the ones who have to shoulder the blame because we’re accused of being such scammers, both in disability claims and in getting opioids for our chronic pain. Continue reading
Professional Societies Should Abstain From Authorship of Guidelines and Disease Definition Statements – John P.A. Ioannidis – Oct 2018
Guidelines and other statements from professional societies have become increasingly influential. These documents shape how disease should be prevented and treated and what should come within the remit of medical care.
Changes in definition of illness can easily increase overnight by millions the number of people who deserve specialist care. This has been seen repeatedly in conditions as diverse as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, composite cardiovascular risk, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, or gastroesophageal reflux.
Similarly, changes in prevention or treatment options may escalate overnight the required cost of care by billions of dollars.
For example, if we accept PROP’s argument that we’re all addicted to our “heroin pills”, we’d all suddenly need “addiction-recovery programs/clinics/residential treatment centers/resorts” for our “substance abuse” instead of “chronic pain”. Continue reading
The Role of Private Equity in Driving Up Health Care Prices | Harvard Business Review – By Lovisa Gustafsson, Shanoor Seervai, and David Blumenthal – Oct 2019
Private investment in U.S. health care has grown significantly over the past decade thanks to investors who have been keen on getting into a large, rapidly growing, and recession-proof market with historically high returns.
It scares me when the healthcare system I depend on is evaluated merely on its ability to generate a profit for corporate officers and stockholders.
This corporate “vision” regards healthcare workers like any other expenses, a cost to be cut wherever possible. Managing healthcare as a financial enterprise denies its humanitarian purpose and the societal benefit it provides for all. Continue reading
Will Big Pharma Fleece Us On A COVID Treatment That We Helped Fund? – Too Much Information – by David Sirota – June 2020
Usually, it’s people with chronic illnesses that suffer the most from high drug prices, but now even the healthy are forced to look at the corrupted state of our pharmaceutical industry (and the whole healthcare system.)
The pharmaceutical industry and its political allies are trying to use the COVID crisis to portray drug companies as modern-day Jonas Salks — the hero from history who refused to patent and profit off the polio vaccine.
It’s a nice tale, but it can obscure the other story of pharmaceutical price gouging and the laws that may help corporations unduly profit off public health crises. Continue reading
Working from home surveillance software for your boss – The Washington Post – by Drew Harwell – Apr 2020
This is in the category of “sad, but true”…
digital marketing director James Luce decided to replicate the office experience entirely online.
Employees were told to create a digital avatar and spend their workday in a virtual office, replete with chat room cubicles and a gossip-ready “water cooler.” They were also instructed to keep their home webcams and microphones on and at the ready, so a spontaneous face-to-face chat was always only a click away.
I can’t believe people have to work under such incredibly stressful and demeaning conditions, especially during this pandemic which already puts so much stress on families quarantined together. Continue reading
How I learned to stop worrying and love practicing without EBM | Alert & Oriented – by Michel Accad – Sept 2016
My aim is to show you practical ways you can safely and effectively exercise clinical judgment without recourse to “evidence-based” knowledge, provided you follow simple but fundamental principles of clinical care: circumspection, parsimony, and due respect to patient autonomy.
What’s more, I will make my case against RCTs using examples that EBM apologists have precisely identified as paradigmatic of this “single greatest medical advance.”
Dr. Acacd then works through four population-wide cases when RCTs overturned “common knowledge” and EBM and changed medical practice. Continue reading
Evidence-informed Person-Centered Healthcare Part I: Do ‘Cognitive Biases Plus’ at Organizational Levels Influence Quality of Evidence? – PubMed – Dec 2014
As our medical system tries to implement Evidence-Based Medicine, it’s becoming more and more clear that the “evidence” isn’t the factual unbiased truth we expect.
Introduction: There is increasing concern about the unreliability of much of health care evidence, especially in its application to individuals.
- Cognitive biases,
- financial and non-financial conflicts of interest, and
- ethical violations
at the levels of individuals and organizations involved in health care undermine the evidence that informs person-centred care. Continue reading
As a nurse, my hospital’s leaders frighten me more than Covid-19 – STAT – By Jaclyn O’Halloran – May 6, 2020
This situation is the result of the financial takeover of our healthcare. When every action must be justified in terms of the “bottom line”, patients are only important as long as they need profitable medical services.
When I started the shift, a trained intensive care unit nurse was crying in the supply closet. She was overwhelmed and anxious, hadn’t worked on her familiar unit in weeks, and had been told that her next shift would be an overnight one — and she had no choice in the matter.
Most shifts start with nurses crying. Most shifts end that way too. Continue reading
Private gain must no longer be allowed to elbow out the public good | Aeon Ideas – by Dirk Philipsen – Apr 2020
This country has been operating on the richly arrogant and simplistic idea that “market forces” can manage our economy and society better (more efficiently) than “government”. For our healthcare, this has been a total disaster.
Adam Smith had an elegant idea when addressing the notorious difficulty that humans face in trying to be smart, efficient and moral. In TheWealth of Nations (1776), he maintained that the baker bakes bread not out of benevolence, but out of self-interest.
No doubt, public benefits can result when people pursue what comes easiest: self-interest.
And yet:the logic of private interest – the notion that we should just ‘let the market handle it’ – has serious limitations. Continue reading