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Rewarding Good Outcomes: Do the Drug Companies Have It Right?

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In 2007 a deal was struck between the British National Health Service (NHS) and drug manufacturer Johnson and Johnson (J&J). NHS had decided not to pay for J&J’s cancer drug, Velcade, so J&J gave NHS a money-back guarantee. If Velcade failed to shrink the patient’s tumors, J&J would reimburse the NHS for the cost of the drug. But tumor shrinkage does not always lengthen a cancer patient’s life. Achieving a specific cholesterol number using a statin drug, or hitting a blood sugar target using a sugar-controlling medicine, often fails to achieve the real goal: helping the patient live longer or better.
Integrative medicine, on the other hand, lengthens lives and improves well-being. Teaching and motivating the patient to make meaningful lifestyle changes—diet, activity, supplements, and stress reduction—brings only the most desirable of side effects: better sleep, improved energy, less inflammation, greater overall health. Wellness must be tied to healthcare reform. Read more about our legislative effort to include wellness as a key component in our nation’s healthcare reform program.

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