Friday, May 29, 2015

Health costs are moderating, but most of us don’t feel it

Friday, April 10, 2015, 10:26 AM
You may not have noticed, but health care costs are rising more slowly than they used to. The rate of growth started to decline during the Great Recession, and the trend has continued since then. Costs rose by an average of 6.5% between 2005 and 2007, just before the recession began, and by an average... 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

The just war: For the health and wealth of our nation

Monday, April 6, 2015, 10:07 AM
There is an unjust war being waged in our healthcare establishment today. It is an assault on medical ethics and empathy by the forces of corporate medicine - and the casualties of this war are unsuspecting patients and the idealistic young doctors who chose their profession for noble reasons. It... 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

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
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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