sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Monday, August 23, 2004

 
I'm working on a freelance assignment for a local publishing company. I enjoy the work because I write about pharmaceutical trends, which is a fascinating subject. The challenge is not only to discover those trends, but analyze who is going to pay for those trends.

Last week, I did quite a bit of research on injectable drugs. The injectable drug we're probably most familiar with is, of course, insulin. But now there are a large number of injectable drugs being developed to treat a wide variety of autoimmune diseases, most notably AIDS and cancer. Injectable drugs enter the system more quickly and thus more effective in fighting disease.

But here's the problem: who's going to pay for this new wave of injectable drugs. Traditionally, injectable drugs have been administered in the doctor's office, making them part of the consumer's medical plan. But as injectables become expensive and more and more consumers start injecting themsleves, there is pressure to make injectables part of pharmacy benefits.

But there's another problem: The majority of injectable drugs are distributed directly to doctors by the manufacturer. Very few pharmacies are have the experience in handling, distributing, and instructing the patient on how to use injectable drugs. so pharmacies and pharmaceutical plans not only face the financial risk of injectable drugs but could also face considerable liability if the drug is not used properly.


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