WHCC in Berlin: A glimpse into the future

By Ruth Whittington ([email protected]) The World Healthcare Congress, held March 10 – 13 in Berlin, always provides interesting insights on the ways governments, clinicians, and healthcare providers perceive healthcare delivery. In the same congress last year, held in Barcelona, two themes dominated the presentations and networking discussions. The first was the concept of an electronic…

The Pharmaceutical industry: Some good news to tell, but not always told well

By David Woods ([email protected]) The pharmaceutical industry is too often blamed for the stratospheric costs of healthcare — particularly in the United States. Yet, according to a series of surveys conducted by USA Today, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health, pharmaceutical products account for only about 10% of the total…

Develop a healthy scepticism about research even in the ‘best’ scientific journals

By David Woods ([email protected]) The Wall Street Journal published an editorial last month titled “The Lancet’s Political Hit.” It described how that venerable medical journal had published a study exaggerating the number of casualties (by an estimated tenfold) in the Iraq war. It turned out that the study was funded by billionaire George Soros, a…

A new way for pharmaceutical companies and prescribers to interact?

By David Woods ([email protected]) Call them Sermoans, Sermophiles, or just plain members, the 32,000 physicians enrolled in Sermo could be changing the way that pharmaceutical companies interact with healthcare professionals. Certainly Pfizer thinks so. Having laid off 20% of its US and European sales teams last year, it recently linked up with Sermo – an…