Will Healthcare be Rationed or Rational? A Case for Supporting Comparative Effectiveness Research

Scenarios“We ration care in the US today using one of the most capricious andinequitable means possible–ability to pay,” says Kim Slocum, formerDirector, Strategic Planning & Business Development at AstraZeneca.”As cost shifting to consumers has accelerated over the past decade,we’ve seen the effects of this as year-on-year sales growth forprescription products has dropped on more or less a straight line since2000.”

Unless something changes, Slocum envisions direconsequences for the drug industry: “Extend the trend out just a bitfurther and you’re faced with a world in which sixty or seventy millionpeople are completely uninsured with many of the remainder living withvery skimpy coverage. Generic utilization rates in this situationprobably exceed 80% and perhaps 30%-40% of all prescriptions gounfilled.” This describes a future scenario Slocum calls “ConsumerChaos.”

In this article, Slocum describes several alternativescenarios and makes a case for the industry to support ComparativeEffectiveness Research or CER.

Topic headings include:

  • All Health Systems Ration Care
  • Pharma 2020
  • Evidence is, or Will be King
  • The Current Path is Untenable
  • Possible Future Scenarios
  • Badly Done CER
  • Best Course of Action

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Issue: Vol. 8, No. 3: March 2009
Word Count: 2482

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