Big Pharmaceuticals Aren't Evil Dictators?

In a post about the current regulatory environment around medial care today, In The Pipeline is maintaining the the NYTimes seems to be adopting a conciliatory attitude toward big pharma.

I have no idea.

I personally find this post interesting because of the quotations he digs out of the original NY Times article.

Q. Wouldn’t your solution require a dramatically different regulatory environment?

A. It differs state by state. In Massachusetts, nurses cannot write prescriptions. But in Minnesota, nurse practitioners can. So there has emerged in Minnesota a clinic called the MinuteClinic. These clinics operate in Target stores and CVS drugstores. They are staffed only by nurse practitioners. There’s a big sign on the door that says, “We treat these 16 rules-based disorders.” They include strep throat, pink eye, urinary tract infection, earaches and sinus infections.

These are things for which very unambiguous, “go, no-go” tests exist. You’re in and out in 15 minutes or it’s free, and it’s a $39 flat fee. These things are just booming because high-quality health care at that level is defined by convenience and accessibility. That’s a commoditization of the expertise. . .

Keep in mind that I am a medical industry noob. I know nothing. Yet, this strikes me as emininently reasonable! It doesn’t take a M.D. to diagnose your flu or sinus infection. Even if your horribly deadly disease were something that initially presented “flu-like symptoms” I have reservations that a doctor would be likely to pick it up without first treating you for the flu. Occam’s razor and all that.

I personally would love to see the mentioned clinics, staffed by trained professionals, available to the public without having to go through the rigamarole of a doctor’s office visit or, god forbid, the ER.

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