Geiger Published in Pharmaceutical Representative

Michael Geiger’s  (EMPH 2010) Issues & Approaches to Health Policy paper focused on the ramifications of a National Healthcare system (defined as a government run, single payer, tax financed system without third party payer involvement) on the pharmaceutical industry. Subsequent to the conclusion of the core class, Michael submitted his paper for publication to a pharmaceutical periodical, Pharmaceutical Representative. His paper was retitled “Universals Appeal,” and appeared as the feature article of the March 2009 publication.

In the paper, Michael explores topics relevant to the industry such as: How do pharmaceutical companies operate in international markets with government regulated systems; Price Controls; The impact on Research and Development costs;   The role of generic medications; “Me too” products; Interest Groups; and Reimportation. He lays out a possible scenario where companies will cut costs, eliminate or trim back departments, reduce marketing activities such as free samples to prescribers, focus on hospital medications not affected by the retail market, mergers, the need for companies to focus globally, and a significant reduction in new products coming to market due to a reduction in company profits.

The concluding paragraph to the paper follows:

“Moving forward, it is going to be up to us: the physicians, insurers, patients and government to reach some kind of consensus about what we want form our medical system and how much we are willing to pay for it. Instead of pointing fingers at who is to blame for high healthcare costs as we do today, it will be important for greater co-operation between the government and all healthcare interest groups, including pharmaceutical companies. There needs to be vision across silos that high costs of medications do stretch healthcare budgets, but at the same time using pharmaceutical products correctly results in significant reductions in hospitalization and consultations with medical professionals, thus offering the potential for an overall savings to the entire healthcare system.”

To obtain an orginal copy, please contact Michael Geiger at mbg2140@columbia.edu

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