‘The process by which drugs are discovered and developed will be fundamentally different in the future​’

Over the past several decades, Michael Kinch of Washington University in St. Louis says, the pharmaceutical industry has managed to dismantle itself. In a provocative series of articles and interviews, Kinch, the director of the Center for Research Innovation in Businessat the university, has been describing the history of this dismantling and its implications for the future of medicine.

Moving forward: ACA provides opportunity to improve overall health system

The survival of the Affordable Care Act in the Supreme Court presents a monumental moment to improve the U.S. health care system, says Elizabeth Sepper, JD, health law expert and associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. “It is a uniquely American crisis that 50 million Americans don’t have health insurance and another 29 million are underinsured, meaning getting sick would ruin them financially even though they’ve been paying for insurance,” she says.

Medical students write health-care handbook

Washington University School of Medicine students Nathan Moore and Elisabeth Askin collaborated to produce a clear and concise guide to the U.S. health-care system called the Health Care Handbook. The book is a topical overview of the system, aimed primarily at undergraduate and graduate health professions students.

Supreme Court’s Affordable Care Act decision will have massive, immediate impact

The Supreme Court will hear several states’ legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act, ensuring that the court — in late June 2012 — will deliver a momentous statement about the ever-contentious constitutional balance between federal and state power. “The key element of the states’ lawsuits targets the act’s requirement that everyone in the country must purchase commercial health insurance,” says constitutional law expert Gregory P. Magarian, JD, professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis.

Health insurance non-benefit expenditures unnecessarily excessive

The U.S. remains on track to spend twice as much for health care as for food, yet millions are without insurance or uninsured. “Health insurance premiums also continue to rise – on average another 9 percent in 2011,” says Merton Bernstein, JD, leading health insurance expert and the Walter D. Coles Professor of Law Emeritus at Washington University in St. Louis. “Medical care costs can change direction if policy makers stop whistling past a significant contributor – non-benefit costs.”
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