With the price of so many medications skyrocketing, so is frustration rising sharply for many hospital systems, particularly as certain essential drugs have become scarce. The New York Times covered this topic in a recent story "Fed Up With Drug Companies, Hospitals Decide to Start Their Own", published online January 18, 2018. The level of interest in this subject has shown up in the subsequent volume of tweets and online comments by readers of the NYT.
The article reviews the idea of hospital systems creating a new nonprofit drug company to help combat price manipulation, especially to fix drug shortages that have resulted in exorbitant prices. The journalists interviewed several healthcare professionals including Duke GIM Professor of Medicine, Kevin Schulman, MD, MPH. Dr. Schulman has studied the generic market and he is advising this consortium, now 300 hospitals. In the story, Schulman states:
“If they all agree to buy enough to sustain this effort, you will have a huge threat to people that are trying to manipulate the generic drug market. They will want to think twice.”
Schulman is a clinical researcher with interests in health services research and policy, including access to care and the impact of reimbursement and regulatory policies on clinical practice; health economics and economic evaluation in clinical research; and medical decision making, especially in patients with life-threatening conditions. He teaches courses in biotechnology, health policy, and health IT strategy.
Don't miss: locally, on January 24, 2018, Dr. Schulman will be presenting Duke Education Grand Rounds, DN 2001, Topic: The Financing of Healthcare: A Primer for Educators. Register here.