Sunday, March 29, 2015

A national security threat: Another Titanic and her fateful iceberg

Friday, March 27, 2015, 12:23 PM
The Titanic was a marvel of technological advancement. She was the “unsinkable” ship of her time. But her crew and captain became complacent to safety concerns and confidently went for “speed”, ignoring the icebergs ahead. The rest is history. The “unsinkable”... 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

“Irrational Exuberance”: A homegrown threat to our nation’s health

Friday, March 20, 2015, 9:56 AM
Our prevailing model of medical progress, innovation and research centers on the concept of "benefit". Doctors, in both academic and corporate medicine, are focused on developing novel therapies to benefit our patients beyond the existent standards of care. This noble intent has evolved from our profession's... Read more

Designer pain creams - profitable for compounding pharmacies but risky for patients and children

Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 5:30 AM
Certain pharmacies, known as compounding pharmacies, can mix different ingredients together to produce a patient-specific product. For example, they can prepare a special formulation of a needed medication that replaces an ingredient in a commercially available product to which the patient is allergic... 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

A remarkable paradigm of free-market self-regulation: UnitedHealth regulates gynecologists

Monday, March 9, 2015, 10:03 AM
Recently, UnitedHealth the largest health insurer in the United States made a very dramatic move. This insurance provider joined a chorus of others around the country by announcing its decision to sharply curtail and scrutinize its coverage of uterine resection operations performed by gynecologists... 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

A “profile in courage”: Congressman Mike G. Fitzpatrick (R-PA)?

Monday, February 23, 2015, 10:41 AM
We live in a complex world. That means that the truth is not always immediately visible. There’s so much complexity in our world today that a lot of people have given up on the concept that there is such a thing as truth. Everything seems to be relative these days. Everything is about compromise... 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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