Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Healthcare quotes of the day

Eliminating defensive medicine could save upwards of $200 billion in health-care costs annually, according to estimates by the American Medical Association and others. The cure is a reliable medical malpractice system that patients, doctors and the general public can trust. But this is the one reform Washington will not seriously consider. That's because the trial lawyers, among the largest contributors to the Democratic Party, thrive on the unreliable justice system we have now. ... The upshot is simple: A few thousand trial lawyers are blocking reform that would benefit 300 million Americans. This is not just your normal special-interest politics. It's a scandal—it is as if international-trade policy was being crafted in order to get fees for customs agents.--Philip Howard

... studies ... don’t consider what we might call the pharmaceutical umbrella that America spreads over the developed world. “Drugs supply almost all the real health care these days,” Peter Huber has written in City Journal. And as a 2006 article by Henry G. Grabowski and Y. Richard Wang in the peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs makes plain, the lion’s share of new chemical entities (NCEs)—that is, genuinely new drugs—are invented in the United States. Between 1993 and 2003, the authors found, 437 NCEs were introduced around the world. America was responsible for 152 of them—far more than any other country—with Japan coming in second with 88 and Germany a distant third with 42. The United States also led the world in the introduction of “global NCEs,” drugs “introduced in a majority of the world’s leading drug markets.”--Benjamin Plotinsky

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