Saturday, February 6, 2016

Daniel Hoffman

What to do until single-payer plan?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016, 4:44 PM
This week Bloomberg News reported that the consultancy DRX found drug prices have continued rising at an annual rate of more than 10 percent, even after the leading Republican candidate and both Democrats in the primaries blast pharma for such greed. Although political and media attention has focused... Read more

High drug prices in the context of a botched health care system

Friday, January 29, 2016, 12:49 PM
The problem of unaffordable drugs can only be adequately addressed within a comprehensive, health care program. The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, fails to provide even a start on achieving a health care program capable of meeting the overarching goals of access, affordability and quality. According... Read more

Bad journalism and bad pharma go hand in hand

Thursday, January 21, 2016, 12:52 PM
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. It is also a necessity if one wants to avoid getting screwed by unaffordable drug costs. Right now vigilance should be directed at certain newspaper editorial boards, particularly those that keep giving space to the pharmaceutical industry's flacks and underlings... Read more

It's not just Valeant and Shkreli gouging drug prices

Wednesday, January 13, 2016, 4:34 PM
During the past few months, lurid details started emerging about the exploitative price gouging by some pharmas that were either private equity operations or managed as such. These included companies such as Valeant, Martin Shkreli's Turing, and a few others. During that time pharma's lobby, the PhRMA... Read more

Pharma's new strategy for reducing competition

Wednesday, December 30, 2015, 3:36 PM
In 1889 the predatory banker J.P. Morgan, a great exemplar of Social Darwinism, convened the country's largest investment banks at his house along New York's Madison Avenue. At the time the country's great investment banks (Morgan's own, Brown Brothers, Drexel, and Kidder, Peabody) held controlling... Read more

Pharma companies aren’t the only ones driving drug prices

Tuesday, December 22, 2015, 10:24 AM
Anyone who's been paying attention knows that the pharmaceutical industry deserves a generous share of blame for the drug prices that are squeezing consumers, taxpayers and employers. But between the pharma company's factory door and the consumer, there is a large network known as the drug distribution... Read more

What are employers doing as health care costs grow?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 3:43 PM
Just consider a few of these basic facts about some trends in U.S. health care. 1. US health care spending rose 5.3 percent in 2014, even as spending on prescription drugs shot up 12.2 percent. This was during a period when salary increases averaged 3 percent, although the large majority of workers... Read more

Nice guys, nasty business

Tuesday, November 24, 2015, 11:13 AM
Early in his career, professional counselor Dominic Carlucci of West Chester worked with cancer patients at Chester County Hospital. After several years he developed a practice focused heavily on a clientele of senior executives at multinational companies. A common theme that Carlucci observed among... Read more

Pharma mirrors a political dilemma

Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 9:31 AM
An interesting scene prompted by Valeant Pharmaceuticals has been unfolding during the last few weeks. As the company squirmed under political pressure and legal scrutiny for its enormous price hikes, its finagling with specialty pharmacy Philidor, and its pure-finance business model, the Big Cap pharma... Read more

Extortionate prices aren't necessary for better, new drugs

Monday, November 9, 2015, 3:01 PM
In late October we noted an item from Politico about the pharmaceutical industry's lobby, PhRMA (the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association) meeting to launch a massive PR campaign aimed at defending increasingly unaffordable drug prices. Last week, the first product of those meetings... Read more
About this blog

Check Up is a blog for savvy health consumers, covering the latest developments, discoveries, and debates from the Philadelphia area and beyond.

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

Charlotte Sutton Health and Science Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer
Tom Avril Inquirer Staff Writer, heart health and general science
Stacey Burling Inquirer Staff Writer, neuroscience and aging
Marie McCullough Inquirer Staff Writer, cancer and women's health
Don Sapatkin Inquirer Staff Writer, public health
David Becker, M.D. Board certified cardiologist, Chestnut Hill Temple Cardiology
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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