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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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by Seth J. Baum, MD All physicians and other health care practitioners (HCPs) recognize the insidious process that has undermined our ability to properly care for our patients. Patients don’t yet fully grasp this, but they are beginning to do so. Over the last two decades HCPs have been commoditized – all doctors are considered…

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by Seth J. Baum, MD I’ve written extensively about the mounting burden borne by doctors and patients. Looking beyond the escalating regulatory time-drains beleaguering doctors throughout the nation we see that simply prescribing medications for our patients has become a tribulation. Why this is so and what ramifications ensue, deserves exploration. Thus I have written…

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