Week in Review: Facing New Health Care Challenges

Week in Review: Facing New Health Care Challenges

12.21.12 | By Kaelan Hollon

This week, The Catalyst focused on the challenges facing our nation's health care system. In a Forbes column, Merck Chairman, President and CEO Ken Frazier emphasized the impact that short-term decisions can have on future research and development. "Yes, we have to make some tough choices to address our immediate and long-term deficit. But, how we make these choices is just as important to creating the stability and predictability that can put our nation on a sustainable path to long-term fiscal responsibility and economic prosperity," Frazier concluded.

New Challenges, New Approach

As people live longer, society will face new health care challenges not unlike those we've confronted in the past. Small pox and polio have been replaced with diseases like Alzheimer's, which will have a growing impact on how we treat and care for millions of patients across the globe. A blog by PhRMA's Grady Forrer addressed the need to refocus our healthcare effort toward making new progress.

Kenneth E. Thorpe, the Health Policy Chair at Emory University and Chairman of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, also discussed health care challenges facing the elderly population in a guest post. With Medicare front and center in the national political dialogue, he emphasizes the importance of pointing out the ramifications of potential changes to the program. Additionally, he makes the argument that the only way to sustainably control costs is to have a greater focus on efforts that coordinate care, as well as promote wellness and disease prevention.

Protecting Patients

On Thursday, we linked to an opinion piece by Former Rep. Ron Klink (D-PA), who points out in The Hill that the outcome of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement is critically important for patients, the future of research and the potential for long-term innovation. "Of particular importance is the issue of data protection for biologic medicines, and ensuring U.S. law of 12 years is part of the final TPP language. These highly complex drugs hold immense promise for treating disease in the future, and must have adequate protections so American firms can continue to lead the way in new drug development and reap the benefits of the jobs created through innovation," Klink wrote.

This is just a sampling of what the Catalyst covered this week. Share your thoughts and check back often as we continue to keep you apprised of the information and issues that impact the biopharmaceutical industry.

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