Monday, February 02, 2009

While You Were Watching Super Bowl XLIII

By all accounts it was a phenomenal game down in Tampa, where the Steelers defeated the Cardinals in Superbowl XLIII in nailbiting fashion. We hope you prevailed in your Super Bowl pools, enjoyed home-made chili in excess, and rocked out to Springsteen at halftime. Surely you had no time to read the news while making guacamole and seventeen kinds of meat-based snacks. And that's where we come in.

So, while you were looking silly wearing those 3-D glasses and explaining Roman numerals to children ...

  • GSK is axing 6-10,000 employees, says oh, just about every paper on the news-stands in Britain that isn't more concerned with Michael Phelps' bong hits. Lets pick ... The Observer.
  • Aaand we swing to the right, across the political spectrum of UK papers now, where The Sunday Times carries a first-person account of genome-spelunking by Steven Pinker. Watch the sugar, Professor!
  • The business models of health care in America are broken, reports the NYT--for example, "there is no financial incentive to keep patients healthy." Well, then, that's not very good. The Times talks to Clayton Christensen and prescribes disruptive innovation and "business school concepts." Everyone go borrow "The Innovator's Prescription" from your local libraries, STAT! (Or, you know, buy it.) We smell IN VIVO Blog Book Club on the horizon ... watch out, Oprah.
  • Roche "confident" that it will succeed in its bid to take over Genentech, reports Swiss paper Basler Zeitung. (h/t Reuters) Meanwhile Astellas says on an earnings call today that we've seen its best offer for CV Therapeutics, and that it won't go hostile.
  • Prasugrel is ready for its Tuesday close-up. The WSJ previews tomorrow's advisory committee meeting.
  • And finally, the plot thickens over the future of Amylin, where hedge fund and 12.5% AMLN shareholder Eastbourne Capital Management proposes a new slate of directors for the biotech and backs fellow investor Carl Icahn in trying to shake things up, reports Bloomberg.
image by flickr user dianecordell used under a creative commons license.


Anonymous said...

The Pinker article was in the New York Times on January 7, 2009.

JasonZ said...

"The business models of health care in America are broken, reports the NYT--for example, 'there is no financial incentive to keep patients healthy'." ...

Geee ... as a patient, I have a very high, personal incentive to keep healthy ... it's my life. On the other hand, an insurance company with a fixed rate, pre-paid contract from my employer has NO incentive to keep anyone healthy ... and physicians overwhelmed by the mass of rules (and rule checker auditors) have little incentive to do anything more than spend the requisite 11 minutes on average seeing me.

In ancient China, on the other hand, a physician was paid when the patient was well and not paid if the patient wasn't well. What did they know that we don't know?

Either employers should rewrite the conditions in their contracts with health payors or insurance dollars, like school vouchers, should be given to the potential patients, who decide how to contract for health care. Perhaps a two-tier system ("routine" health care and "catastrophic" health care) is the way to go ...

Two things I know: I don't want government involved in my health care and I don't want a company that measures its value to its customers based on its balance sheet determining what my health care dollars get me.