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The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Nexus 2019

Dr Robert Dubois Details the Vital Importance of Increasing Healthcare Spending Discussions

Discussions around healthcare spending have been ignored for decades, but Robert Dubois, MD, PhD, chief science officer and executive vice president at National Pharmaceutical Council, believes we have the ability to start those discussions now.


Discussions around healthcare spending have been ignored for decades, but Robert Dubois, MD, PhD, chief science officer and executive vice president at National Pharmaceutical Council, believes we have the ability to start those discussions now.

Transcript

In the United States we have typically avoided difficult healthcare spending discussions. How vital are these discussions and why do you believe they can be done?

Well, I think it’s vital that we begin to have a discussion around healthcare spending. We’ve kicked the can down the road for several decades now and problems are getting worse and worse. Whether you look at the percentage of GDP that’s spent on healthcare—if you look at the cost of health premiums—if you look at the impact of premiums on wages, whether states can provide funds for education or road repair. All of these things are crowding out because of what’s going on in the healthcare spending arena. The problem also is that the longer we delay, the more draconian the changes and the interventions are going to need to be. Medicare trust fund is going to expire in the next 6-8 years and the types of changes that are going to be required are going to be really tough if we push this off much further. Now, the next obvious question is can we actually talk about tough issues like healthcare spending—I actually believe we can. We’ve begun a series of town hall dialogues in local communities. We’ve had 1 in Nashville and 1 in Raleigh and we’ve brought local people together to talk about healthcare spending and the issues related to that—and we’ve got 6 more of these queued up. So, I'm actually quite optimistic that we can have the discussion and I’m absolutely convinced that we must have the discussion.

 
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