Tag Archives: deadly diseases

Decades Later The USA Health Care System is Still a Deadly Disease for Our Economy

Decades ago W. Edwards Deming named 7 deadly diseases of western management. One of those was excessive health care costs. Sadly that deadly disease has become much worse in the last several decades.

Americans pay 300% more for this prostate cancer drug than much of the rest of the world

Xtandi, a prostate cancer drug co-licenced by Japan’s Astellas Pharma and Medivation Inc. was developed at a U.S. university with grants funded by taxpayer dollars. That gives the federal government the right to revoke the patent if the terms are unreasonable, said the letter, dated Monday.

“We do not think that charging U.S. residents more than anyone else in the world meets the obligation to make the invention available to U.S. residents on reasonable terms,” said the letter, which had Sen. and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Elijah Cummings among its signatories.

This specific example also highlights what I classified as a new deadly disease in 2007 – the broken patent and trademark system.

Both of these deadly diseases greatly damage the USA economy and the economic condition of USA citizens. It is disgraceful that the Democratic and Repulbican parties have allowed these deadly diseases to ravage the USA economy for decades.

The drug price situation in the USA is greatly exsaserbated by the corrupt political process. Drug companies give large amounts of cash to those we elect and then those we elect create system that damage the USA economy and provide drug companies huge extra profits inside the USA (those profits then allow the companies to charge other countries even less and still make a great return on their investment). I wrote about this in 2005: Excessive Drug Prices in the USA (and several times since then, Drug Price Crisis [2008] – it is a long term, huge economic problem for the USA).

Health care is extremely expensive everywhere. But in the USA the health care system is twice as costly as other rich countries. This is an enormous burden on the USA economy. Nothing else comes close to being as costly in terms of direct spending. And there a a great deal of other damage done that can’t be seen in just the 100% more the USA spends on health care than other rich countries spend. And the health outcomes are no better for the extra hundres of billions of dollars spent every year for health care in the USA.

The costs of decades of failure are extrodinary. We shouldn’t allow the political parties to continue to fail to sensibly address these problems. Even if we can just get to the point of costing 50% more than other rich countries our economy will be greatly enhanced, but we have not even been able to reduce the health care tax the USA health care system puts on us to just 50% more than other countries. That is a pretty sad state of affairs especially when you consider that other countries are not doing a great job – so we are twice as costly, not as some extremely wonderful amazing system but twice as costly as mediocre comparisons.

Extremely inflatted drug prices in the USA are a significant part of the problem but still only a portion of a system that has been costly the USA economy and citizens hundreds of billions of dollars a year (and untold soffuering in many other ways) for decades. We have to do better.

Related: USA Health Care Spending 2013: $2.9 trillion $9,255 per person and 17.4% of GDPThe Growing Market for International Travel for Medical CareCEOs Want Health-Care Reform (2009)Can We Expect the Health Care System in the USA to Become Less Damaging to the Economy? (2011)

PBS Documentary: Improving Hospitals

Clare Crawford-Mason and Llyod Dobyns have teamed up on a new documentary. Previously they created If Japan Can-Why Can’t We? and the Deming Library Tapes.

Good News – How Hospitals Heal Themselves (broken link was removed)
A One-Hour Documentary Airing on Public Television Spring/Summer 2006
Reported by Former NBC Anchor Lloyd Dobyns

This rare good news documentary reports on a surprising solution to escalating costs, unnecessary deaths and waste in America’s hospitals. Doctors and nurses tell how they did their best, working overtime, while hospital conditions worsened. They were delighted to learn a new way to improve patient care dramatically and reduce unnecessary deaths, suffering, errors, infections and costs without additional resources or government regulations.
Continue reading

Innovation and Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a license that lets the creators of intellectual property clearly define how that property may be used by others. Partially this license is a reaction to the poor way copyright law is being viewed today (see links below).

Partially it is tool that gives creators a way to provide for more interaction with their ideas. And this interaction is a great way to market, in the right circumstances. More managers should be thinking about how their organizations can use this tool to improve performance.

A great example is found in this Wired article, Open Source Opens Doors to SNL [the broken link was removed]:

Live from New York, it’s — three comic talents who first made a name for themselves on the internet.

Andy Samberg will become a performing member of Saturday Night Live’s 31st season cast debuting Oct. 1, while Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer have joined the show as writers. But all three got their first big break online, thanks in part to the viral popularity of video shorts they released on the net. In a move that may have helped fuel rapid grass-roots distribution, the comics released their work under Creative Commons licenses, which essentially let anyone copy a given work for free provided that person doesn’t try to profit from it.

This was an effective strategy to get their work into the public eye and market themselves.

Copyright background links:

Update: Learn more on the new deadly disease (systemic impediments to innovation through systemic copyright and patents failures).