U.S. Healthcare needs a revolution; ‘the shot heard round the world’ frequently refers to the opening shots of the American Revolution in 1775. The Big Pharma lobby is holding the American people hostage with their exorbitant ransom demands. Last summer, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, led by CEO Heather Bresch, overplayed their hand. Mylan came under fire for a 400% price increase in the EpiPen two-pack. This device is considered life-saving for children and adults with anaphylactic reactions to various food, insect, or environmental insults. Ms. Bresch insisted the significant price increase ($600-$700 for a medication which costs pennies) was justified due to the more ergonomic appearance of the delivery device and improved safety profile.
Physicians must stand up and be counted. Our time is now. Practicing physicians can deliver valuable insight and novel perspective on how to enact change. We must give the power to make healthcare decisions back to the patient and their doctor, rather than to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.
Welcome to the penalty box, with no term limit. Every single visit, procedure, counseling session, or medical intervention will have 2% shaved off the top. The average family physician receives about $100,000 a year in Medicare reimbursements, so a 2% penalty for 2017 will become 3% in 2018, and increase to 4% in 2019—a combined three-year total of $9,000.
I often wonder who has been the greatest blessing to whom. A physician bears witness to the direct impact we have on the lives of other human beings. What a rare treasure to behold! As physicians, our journey is riddled with successes and failures. Yet, my love and dedication to this noble and rewarding profession is instantaneously revitalized when a young person wanders into my office and reminds me of a time when we overcame such insurmountable odds together.
How far should a medical director of a large scientific institution be allowed to veer off the path of mainstream medical science? A medical doctor employed at a large, prestigious medical institution has an obligation to his patients, his colleagues, and the general public at large.
So what does this mean exactly? Most likely the mumps portion of the MMR vaccine is less effective in the Marshallese population in particular due to some genetic difference in their immune response. It is also possible this virus is “drifting” by changing a protein here or there or an H or N molecule as similar to the influenza virus. So all in all, there are likely small changes in the natural mumps virus altering the landscape for everyone; however those with Marshallese background are naturally more susceptible.