How sick are you? It depends on what the definition of ‘sick’ is…

By Mary Gabb (mary.gabb@rxcomms.com ) The publication several years ago of Selling Sickness: How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies are Turning Us All into Patients by Ray Moynihan and Alan Cassels has brought the concept of disease-mongering into a global debate, and has introduced (or reintroduced) terms such as “medicalisation” and “lifestyle drugs” into today’s…

The mean versus the gene: will national healthcare systems ever adopt personalised medicine?

By John F P Bridges While outcomes for any given treatment differ significantly among patients, national healthcare systems continue to take a top down population perspective in reviewing not only epidemiologic data but to evaluating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of new medicines. This top down approach, coupled with a growing need for cost containment, has…

In-store health clinics: a new approach to primary care?

By David Woods (david.woods@rxcomms.com) Health clinics based in retail outlets, particularly drug stores, are changing the way primary care is delivered. Their proponents cite access, convenience, and price transparency as the major reasons for their popularity and growth. Further fueling this concept is the growing shortage of primary care doctors. Staffed mainly by nurse practitioners,…

Simplifying drug labels

By David Woods (david.woods@rxcomms.com) The Institute of Medicine, which made headlines some years ago when it estimated that medical mistakes kill as many as 98,000 patients a year, followed up more recently with a report on the major cause – medication errors. The Institute believes that one way to prevent such errors is through computerised…

Risk/benefit decisions – who should be involved, and are there valid measurement methods?

By Clare Gurton (cgurton@rxcomms.com) Here we summarise a recent article from ISPOR Connections 2006; December 15: 3–5 Patients are generally not included in decision-making yet they are the group to whom the benefits and risk of treatment apply. Treatment decision-making policy and treatment guidelines are led by objective evidence of benefit, that outweighs any risks,…