How should the government fix healthcare? Listeners: Make Rx cheaper, safer.

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At the end of Episode 15, Fixing Healthcare co-hosts Dr. Robert Pearl and Jeremy Corr turned to listeners for ideas and suggestions about the role of government in healthcare.

This regular feature of Season 3 comes by way of the new Fixing Healthcare Survey. Please click the link and us your input. Robert and Jeremy might share your ideas on a future episode.

This month, we heard from Dave Chase, Josh Quaas and Ed Yap who told us that the government should ensure that prescription medications are both affordable and safe.

Transcript from Fixing Healthcare (Episode 15)

Robert: Before we go, let’s take a few minutes to hear some of the many suggestions we’ve received from listeners who weighed in on this question: How can the U.S. government best improve health care? Don’t forget, there’s still time for you to add your ideas at robertpearlmd.com.

Jeremy: We heard from several listeners about the government’s role in making prescription drugs both safer and more affordable for Americans. Ed Yap wrote us with the suggestion for Congress to decrease big pharma’s influence on the U.S. drug policies and prices. Josh Quaas said the government should be able to negotiate drug costs directly with pharmaceutical companies. We also heard from healthcare author and entrepreneur Dave Chase, who points out that, even now, the United States prescribes opioids at five times the rate of most countries. He believes that the government can help by intervening and preventing prescription drug abuse before it starts. Robbie, here we have three very different takes on the role of government when it comes to regulating prescription drugs. What do you think about our listener’s suggestions?

Robert: Our listeners once again have offered powerful and valuable ideas. As Ed recognizes, the pharmaceutical industry is our nation’s largest donor to political campaigns and elected officials. For the past two decades, they’ve consistently lobbied for and successfully passed legislation that maximizes their income and profit, both at the expense of patients. In addition, as John suggests, one solution to the exorbitant cost of drugs in the U.S. compared to other industrialized nations is to allow the government to negotiate prices on behalf of all Americans. All other the nations do so for their citizens, and our country currently is paying the price. Finally, like Dave, I’m appalled by the ways drug companies have pushed addictive medications. For decades, they have misled doctors and hurt families. I believe individuals in these companies need to be held criminally liable for the tens of thousands of people killed as a result of their actions. That’s the best way to discourage similar behavior in the future.

Jeremy: Once again, thanks to Ed Yap, Josh Quaas, Dave Chase and everyone else who has participated in “The Fixing Healthcare Survey” on robertpearlmd.com.

READ: Full transcript of Episode 15 with Tyler Shultz

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Fixing Healthcare is a co-production of Dr. Robert Pearl and Jeremy Corr. Subscribe to the show via Apple Podcasts or wherever you find podcasts. Join the conversation or suggest a guest by following the show on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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