Viewpoints: Can Mark Cuban Fix Drug Cost Issue?; Biden’s Plan To Halve Cancer Death Rate
Editorial writers delve into these public health topics.
The Washington Post:
Can Mark Cuban Help Save The Pharmaceutical Industry From Itself?
It’s nice to see initiatives such as billionaire investor Mark Cuban’s latest effort, the Cost Plus Drug Co. The online pharmacy, which opened for business recently, will almost certainly be, in some cases, literally a lifesaver. It is offering a select group of generic medications for the manufacturer’s cost plus a 15 percent markup and a $3 service fee. (Helaine Olen, 2/2)
Cancer Moonshot: Biden Plans To Dramatically Reduce Death Rates
The experience of cancer – of getting a cancer diagnosis, surviving cancer, losing someone to cancer – has touched virtually every American family. So, even as we continue to respond to COVID-19, we must renew our urgency in fighting cancer.This is personal for us, and for President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, who lost their son Beau to brain cancer in 2015. The president then led the Cancer Moonshot: an audacious initiative to dramatically accelerate progress against cancer. (Dr. Eric S. Lander and Dr. Danielle Carnival, 2/2)
Managing The Opioid Crisis In North America And Beyond
2020 marked the deadliest year yet in the North American opioid epidemic: more than 100 000 drug overdoses were recorded in the USA, nearly 76 000 of them attributed to opioids, an increase of approximately 30% over 2019; in Canada, deaths rose by 67% in a single year, to more than 6200. The exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic may have contributed to many overdose deaths by disrupting treatment programmes and access to life-saving medications such as naloxone, and by limiting support networks. Yet the opioid epidemic has been a constant, complex, and decades-long crisis, since its inception in 1995 when OxyContin was approved and erroneously marketed as a safe and low-risk extended-release opioid analgesic. (2/2)
Hospitals' Cash Prices Offer A New Look At Health Care Pricing
There are several common narratives about variations in health care prices: Uninsured consumers are dunned for full chargemaster prices, consumer advocates complain. Insurers with outsized market power drive down physician reimbursement, say the medical societies. Providers offer the best prices to payers with larger market shares who bring a high patient volume, doctors say. Recent research exploiting hospital price disclosures has debunked these canards. (Jackson Williams, 2/3)
To Improve Trust In Public Health Agencies, Start With A New Mantra
Be first, be right, be credible. That’s the mantra public health leaders follow when it comes to communicating with the public in a crisis. Though it is officially promulgated by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is taught in public health schools all over the world and is a governing philosophy that permeates public health communication. Yet the decrease in public trust for U.S. public health agencies during the pandemic — a poll indicates that only 52% of Americans trust the CDC, compared to 37% who trust the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration — makes clear that public health needs a new philosophy for risk communication, and a new mantra to go with it. (Evan J. Zimmerman, 2/3)
Kansas City Star:
Black Kansas City Skin Specialist Retires After 45 Years
Only 3% percent of dermatologists in the country are Black. Bertram Caruthers Jr., is one of them, and quite possibly the first African American skin specialist in the metropolitan area to open his own practice. For decades, Caruthers was considered the go-to dermatologist for minorities in Kansas City. He called it a career this week after 45 years in private practice. “There was no one else (African American) here when I started my practice” in 1977, Caruthers said inside his office on East 63rd Street just west of Prospect in Kansas City. When we talk Black history in Kansas City, we cannot forget Caruthers, who served predominantly Black clientele on both sides of the state line. (Toriano Porter, 2/3)