Medical Progress Today
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Volume 3, Number 10
March 24, 2006


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In the Spotlight

Counterfeit drugs: getting to the root of the problem

Philip Stevens, Medical Progress Today, 3-24-06

When we buy a branded product we expect to get what we pay for. The rule of law, administered and upheld by an independent judiciary, makes it nearly certain that when we go into a store and buy an iPod, we will get something manufactured by Apple that does exactly what we expect it to.
Continue reading . . .

Commentary

Health Advisors
Grace-Marie Turner, Galen Institute, 3-24-06

Turner writes that one frequent criticism of consumer-driven health care is that medical decisions are too complex to leave to consumers. Turner responds saying that, as in other complex markets (i.e., IRAs) intermediaries will spring up, helping patients find the best combinations of cost and quality.
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The Real Cost of AIDS in Sierra Leone
Roger Bate, Economic Affairs, 3-21-06

Bate points out that funding for AIDS programs in Sierra Leone has displaced other critical health initiatives that are, arguably, much more cost-effective ways of saving lives.
Continue reading . . .

Funding for accelerating drug development initiative critical
Joanna Owens, Nature Reviews Drug Development, 3-20-06

Last week, the FDA issued its Critical Path Opportunities Report, an agenda for medical research to develop new tools to improve the current drug development “toolkit”, which, the FDA and its stakeholders agree, currently relies on technological platforms that are outdated and inefficient.
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Proceed with Caution: The Unintended Consequences of Expanding VA Access
Nina Owcharenko, Heritage Foundation, 3-17-06

Owcharenko advises policymakers to tread carefully before they expand the VA’s responsibilities beyond its core mission of “[serving] current combat veterans and veterans with service disabilities, lower-incomes, and special needs.” She notes that similar, well-intentioned expansions of the Medicaid program may have harmed recipients who rely on it for high quality care.
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Research

The Effects of Tort Reform on Medical Malpractice Insurers Ultimate Losses
W. Kip Viscusi, NBER, 3-1-06

Jim Copland, director of the Manhattan Institute's Center for Legal Policy, recommends this paper, from the National Bureau of Economic Research, to MPT readers. Copland believes that “this paper is significant in that it shows the actual benefits realized by traditional tort reforms—joint and several liability reform, noneconomic damage caps, and punitive damage reform—are even greater than insurers' initial loss estimates would predict. Given the uncertainty created by state regulatory climates and the tendency of 'creative' state supreme courts to find tort reforms unconstitutional, it is unsurprising that state tort reforms do not cause insurers to respond as aggressively initially. The key take-away is the significant benefit such reforms generate over time. The authors find that loss reductions are driven primarily through firms with the highest losses, which supports the notion that outlier verdicts are indeed the key driver of rising med-mal premiums.”
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In this week's issue:

SPOTLIGHT

Counterfeit drugs: getting to the root of the problem

COMMENTARY

Health Advisors
The Real Cost of AIDS in Sierra Leone
Funding for accelerating drug development initiative critical
Proceed with Caution: The Unintended Consequences of Expanding VA Access

RESEARCH

The Effects of Tort Reform on Medical Malpractice Insurers Ultimate Losses
Center for Medical Progress 
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