A Chat with the National Health Council

A Chat with the National Health Council

04.13.11 | By Kate Connors

Below, we sat down with Marc Boutin, executive vice president and COO of the National Health Council, for his thoughts on the PhRMA annual meeting.

1. Tell us a bit more about your background and role at the National Health Council.

I'm the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the National Health Council (NHC), an organization that provides a united voice for the more than 133 million people in the U.S. with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers. Our membership is made up of leading national patient advocacy organizations, which control its governance, and all other segments of the health care community. I oversee the financial management and operations of the NHC and build consensus among our broad and diverse membership on policy initiatives.

2. You're coming to PhRMA's annual meeting to discuss the role of the patient in policy debates. How does an average patient factor into policymaking?

The most successful health care system focuses first on the end user -- the patient. If we zero in on the total patient experience across the continuum of care, we can reach consensus on good policies and create a better delivery system. It's when we focus on just care but not cost, on risk but not benefit, or on evidence-based medicine and not personal predicaments that we can easily get sidetracked from reaching our collective goal of serving the patient.

3. What can PhRMA do at the annual meeting to help amplify your message?

PhRMA does an excellent job of bringing together at its annual meeting representatives from patient organizations and industry decision makers and giving them the opportunity to present to each other. PhRMA could take this effort to the next higher level by facilitating more discussions between these two groups on topics of common interest and systemic health care delivery issues.

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