Monday, August 25, 2008

Democrat Platform supports prescription medcines from outside U.S.

The Democrat Party, which launched its nominating convention Monday, August 25, has gone on record in its Platform to include access for Americans to prescription medicines from 'developed' countries.

Significantly, it is included as a part of a broad and comprehensive approach to the total American health care system, a stance that more and more people, advocacy groups and policy-makers are beginning to accept, rather than limiting examinations of healthcare reform to a particular agenda.

The statement follows:
...lower drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prices, allowing importation of safe medicines from other developed countries..."

When a copy of the GOP position becomes available, it will be posted. One can only hope that we might be presented with an historic opportunity in which both major political parties will make the bold steps necessary to bring about true comprehensive healthcare reform.

Investor validates role of prescription medicines to improved healthcare

by Daniel Hines
Publisher, TodaysSeniorsNetwork.com

The potential benefit of continued access to safe, affordable prescription medicines for U.S. citizens as a part of any signficant gains to be made in the American healthcare system has been identified by contrarian investor Robert Kleinschmidt in the August issue of Kiplinger's.
Kleinschmidt has made his fortune by identifying opportunities to invest in unpopular groups of stocks. In the Kiplinger's article, Kleinschmidt identifies pharmceutical stocks as such an opportunity.

His rationale: "The consensus will change when there's widespread recognition that drugs are part of the solution for healthcare as opposed to bieng part of the problem...if you think medical costs are a high percentage of the economy now, imagine what they would be if you couldn't solve a lot medical problems with a pill and had to solve them some other way..."

He continues that using pills is a "cost-effective way" of keeping people out of hospitals and by keeping them healthy, deters the need for more expensive operations and use of medical devices.

The conclusion is obvious: Access to safe, affordabale prescription medicines--including those from licensed, safe sources outside the U.S.--can, as noted in an earlier blog entry (Prescription Meds from outside U.S. offer lifeline to Part D and Medicare), addressing the healthcare needs of the U.S. in their totality is crucial to improved health for all Americans. To segment various issues--reimportation, making Part D a part of regular Medicare Administration, SCHIP, fighting privatization of Medicare, restoring fiscal integrity to Medicare and Medicaid, or prescription medicine safety--and identify them as 'the issue' of a particular group is both short-sighted and self-defeating.

That's why it is encouraging to see some new trends beginning to take place. Kleinschmidt's observation a succinct appraisal of the very real and important benefit to be attained--and not just for investors--but for all Americans.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has introduced legislation that would incorporate a broad base of issues into policies, including but not limited to reimportation, that could improve the administration of Medicare, provide tremendous cost-savings and ease the strain upon the Budget, and improve the health of untold numbers of Americans.

Hopefully, the pharmaceutical industry will realize that as this occurs and Americans through the reduced costs made possible by such an approach, it will sell more prescription medicines, increasing their sales volume and profitability. And, in so doing, it will help validate Kleinschmidt's contrarian philosophy.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Increased awareness of prescription medicine abuse

G.Anthony Howard, the president and CEO of CanaRx Services, Inc., a leading pharmacy plan developer and administrator has hailed the increased awareness in the U.S. of prescription medicine abuse as a beneficial development that will contribute to improved safety in the ordering and disbursement of prescription medicines.

“That is why we applaud all those local, state and Federal agencies that are working to identify and punish ‘bogus’ pharmacies and others who illegally disburse prescription medicines,” Howard says.

The role of prescription medicines in enhancing and protecting the public health cannot be denied when they are used for the purpose for which they were designed, and disbursed under the highest professional standards of safety and efficacy.
“By identifying those sources whose practices make prescription medicine abuse possible, we are confident that the increased public awareness will help resolve such abuse.”

Howard says that CanaRx works with more than 100 local governments in the U.S. to provide access to safe, affordable prescription medicines through voluntary plans for employees and retirees of the participating governmental bodies.
“CanaRx has always applied the highest standards and strongest procedures of oversight to guarantee not only the safety and efficacy of medicines distributed in plans with which we work, but to make sure to the greatest extent possible that there is no opportunity for abuse or the medicines being obtained being used for purposes other than their intended legitimate medical reasons,” Howard continues.
“CanaRx welcomes such increased awareness. We also view it as an opportunity to further explain our commitment to safety and efficacy, a commitment that has enabled us to establish a record of practicing the highest standards of safety and healthcare professionalism,” Howard concludes.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Kucinich sees role for medicines from outside U.S. in resolving Medicare cost, coverage crisis

Posted by Daniel Hines,
Publisher www.TodaysSeniorsNetwork.com

In one of our recent entries, we made a case that prescription medicines from outside the U.S. could provide a life-line for the budget problems of Medicare and Medicare Part D. We also criticized the agenda of selected groups that did not even want to consider such a possibility, a move that led one group to object that 'dialogue' about the development of positions should be kept within the framework of the group and not made a matter of public debate. We disagree and contend that a consideration of the potential budgetary benefit of access to prescription medicines deserves inclusion in any policy considerations affecting Medicare and especially Part D. It is a proposition that should be included in any discussion or debate about Medicare and Part D. Exclusion of such consideration is akin to cutting off one leg of a three-legged stool.
All of which is prologue to our pleasure to see that at least one Congressman agrees with us as Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has introduced legislation that would completely revamp Medicare Part D to include a role for prescription medicines from outside the U.S. There will be those who will poo-pah the support of Reprsentative Kucinich, citing that he is a perpetual Presidential aspirant who, like former President Jimmy Carter, says he has seen UFOs. But this is also the same man who opposed the violation of the Constitution in our entry into an undeclared war in Iraq, who has championed price relief for low-income families who face not being able to pay heating bills this winter, and who authored and co-sponsored legislation to create a national health care system, preserve Social Security, lower the costs of prescription drugs, provide economic development through infrastructure improvements, abolish the death penalty, provide universal prekindergarten to all 3, 4, and 5 year olds, create a Department of Peace, regulate genetically engineered foods, repeal the USA PATRIOT Act, and provide tax relief to working class families.
And, he has served in Congress since 1996. Before that, he was elected the youngest Mayor of Cleveland in the city's history.
The role that Congressman Kucinich plays is similar to the historic role of populists who, like the Man of LaManch, dream the impossible dream, and work to introduce ideas and proposals that eventually become public policy.
By identifying the linkage of the fiscal problems of Medicare Part D at least in part to the pricing practices of the pharmaceutical industry , and seeking relief with his new proposal, Representative Kucinich offers an opportunity to improve not only Medicare and Part D themselves, but to provide necessary fiscal relief to an overburdend system--all the while, enhancing the health and well-being of Americans that is possible through access to safe, affordable prescription medicines.