Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Daniel Hoffman

Drug pricing: The problem and some band-aids

Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 12:53 PM
Two stories surfaced this week that provide more examples of how increasing drug prices have gotten totally out of hand. In the first one, a study in the medical journal Neurology tracked prices for multiple sclerosis (MS) medications during the past dozen years and uncovered an "alarming rise" that... Read more

Self-dealing physicians and a bad trade deal

Monday, April 20, 2015, 10:35 AM
The costs of health care and affordable access to it are made worse by high drug prices that keep rising many times faster than the cost living. The pharmaceutical industry deserves the big share of blame for drug prices, but prescriptions account for only a little more than 10% of this country's total... Read more

Two questionable ways to develop new drugs

Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 10:33 AM
A substantial and growing number of people working in pharma R&D are painfully aware that the industry's “strategic partnering” approach to drug development requires more time and money to bring new products to market. Yet despite this reality of a naked emperor, pharma remains resolutely... Read more

Can polio cure cancer? If it's one dose and done, will pharma try it?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 10:03 AM
This is definitely a week when the media's spotlight has been shining on cancer. Each evening between Monday and Wednesday, PBS has been running a compelling Ken Burns documentary on the long, arduous efforts to develop successful treatments for this deadly, ancient scourge. On Sunday, 60 Minutes ran... Read more

An oncologist's explanation for unaffordable drug prices

Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 10:26 AM
Dr. Hagop Kantarjian is an oncologist who spends his days treating leukemia patients at Houston's M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and conducting research to develop new treatments. His humane concerns and interest in public policy came to light in a study he authored this month for the Mayo Clinic Proceedings... Read more

Layoffs and site closings more than just a reshuffle

Monday, March 16, 2015, 9:52 AM
John La Mattina worked at Pfizer for thirty years, eventually becoming their head of R&D in 2004. He held that position for four years and then started cashing in, the way most senior executives do when they run out the string in the C-suite. In La Mattina's case this has included becoming a partner... Read more

Did Sanofi pick l'homme juste?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015, 11:15 AM
Last month the French pharma company, Sanofi, named Olivier Brandicourt as its new CEO. Brandicourt had been the chief executive of Bayer's health care unit and while he may eventually prove to be a visionary chief executive, at least at this point the move strikes some people as a typical example... Read more

The effect of patient demands and defensive medicine on health care costs

Thursday, February 26, 2015, 8:30 AM
The Chicago-school economists and their Republican disciples in Congress argue that the answer to ballooning health care costs consists of making patients put skin in the game. By that they mean patients/consumers must accept a painful share of the costs. Their reasoning is that this will make them... Read more

The rising costs of health care premiums and drugs

Monday, February 23, 2015, 3:40 PM
In the Sunday Inquirer from February 1, Robert Calandra wrote about a Germantown couple, the Clarks, and their problems getting affordable health insurance. For 2014, with household income of $33,000, the Clarks obtained coverage within their means because they benefitted from a tax-credit subsidy... Read more

Major cuts coming to Pharma's business-side workforce

Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 2:17 PM
Nearly everyone reading this who lives in the Philly metro area has a family member, friend or neighbor that works for pharma. A substantial number of pharma employees live in Montgomery, lower Bucks and Chester counties. But a major change now taking place means that within a decade, most of the... Read more
About this blog

Check Up covers regional health news and a wide array of healthcare topics from pharmaceutical happenings to patient safety. Read about some of our bloggers here.

Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Daniel R. Hoffman, Ph.D. President, Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates
Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. Cardiothoracic surgeon in the Philadelphia area
Amy J. Reed, M.D., Ph.D. Anesthesiologist and Surgical Intensivist in the Philadelphia Area
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