Your Doctor Prescribed a Medicine, But Will You Get It?
Seth J. Baum, MD In 2013 Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the CDC, judiciously proclaimed that “even one preventable death is one too many.” Just three years later we are mired in debates concerning cost effectiveness of innovative medicines. We argue about not only the price of drugs, but also the monetized value of a…Read More
It’s Official; Doctors Have Become Commoditized – But is there still hope?
The commoditization of doctors is a pattern both insidious and distressing. Examining reimbursement and medical practitioner nomenclature trends over the past few decades, one can see with certainty that doctors have been branded commodities; we are no longer individuals possessing unique qualities and skillsets. In the minds of insurers and patients all doctors are created…Read More
Cardiology News: PCSK9 Inhibitors
by Seth J. Baum MD Recently, there have been several articles discussing the development, efficacy, cost and long-term impact of novel cholesterol lowering drugs – called PCSK9 inhibitors – new drugs that show the capacity to greatly reduce the levels of LDL, or “bad”, cholesterol in an individual’s bloodstream. Insurance providers have pushed back aggressively…Read More
The Collapse of Modern Medicine – From Bedside to Phone Calls
by Seth J. Baum MD Intending no disrespect to true war veterans, I will tell you that the 1980s was our Vietnam. As medical residents in New York City, the heart of the AIDS epidemic, daily we fought futile fights against the malevolent plague vanquishing our patients. Purportedly mild bacteria, fungi, viruses, and cancers found…Read More
Accessing PCSK9 Inhibitors: An Ongoing Bottleneck for Patients and Their Doctors
by Seth J. Baum MD PCSK9 inhibitors are the most significant advance in the management of elevated cholesterol in the last 3 decades. These injectable medications are indisputably revolutionary: They provide intensive and predictable reduction of LDL cholesterol in even our most difficult-to-treat patients. So, you would think that insurance providers would embrace them. Not…Read More
Response to Matt Perrone‘s April 20th Associated Press Piece on PCSK9 Inhibitors
by Seth J. Baum MD I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak at length with Matt Perrone prior to his submitting an April 20th article on the PSCK9 inhibitors’ unexpectedly low uptake in the medical community. His piece was excellent; yet it failed to address the most salient aspect of this problem: Patients…Read More
FH Foundation’s National FH Registry Illustrates U.S. FH Population’s Risk for Early CHD
Important research recently published in the American Heart Association’s journals illustrates that the cardiovascular disease burden and treatment patterns among patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) in the US remain poorly described. The study consisted of a cross-sectional analysis of 1295 adults with heterozygous FH enrolled in the FH Foundation’s CASCADE-FH Registry from 11 US lipid…Read More
PCSK9 Inhibitors: Why Are They Under-Prescribed?
by Seth J. Baum, MD A recent article by Caroline Humer and Ransdell Pierson for Reuters reported on the unexpectedly paltry number of prescriptions for PCSK9 inhibitors, the revolutionary cholesterol lowering drugs that were FDA approved in the summer of 2015. Insurance providers had viewed these costly medications as a potentially grave threat to their…Read More
by Seth J. Baum, MD Sporadically during the presidential debates we hear discussions that attempt to resolve issues. One of the most contentious one relates to healthcare, Obamacare specifically. Few would argue that we are better off today than we were prior to the institution of the Affordable Care Act. Those in favor point to…Read More
Heart Month: Looking Back on 2015 and Forward into 2016
by Seth J. Baum, MD February is National Heart Month – a time of hope, jubilation and pride. Each year many of us write blogs or articles espousing the sentiments of optimism and accomplishment. We discuss all that has occurred and all that is promised to be. This year I must take a different tact.…Read More