Cambridge Mass. doc leads call for reform of “dysfunctional” pharmaceutical system.

Lead author Adam Gaffney is a pulmonologist and critical care physician at the Cambridge Health AllianceFile_000. Here’s the summary, from the BMJ:

Key messages

  • The US and Canadian pharmaceutical systems are dysfunctional

  • Costs are exorbitant, commercial goals distort drug development, misleading promotion fosters misuse, and medications are too often unaffordable for patients

  • We propose reforms that would provide universal drug coverage without fees at the point of use while reducing prices through negotiations with drug firms and, when needed, compulsory generic manufacture

  • Innovation would be enhanced through patent reform and by establishing new public agencies to fund drug development and clinical trials

  • Drug safety, efficacy, and prescribing quality would be improved by raising standards for approval and safety monitoring

  • While the proposals face formidable political obstacles, a popular mandate exists for pharmaceutical reform in both nations

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