Novartis CEO Discusses U.S. Health Care Reform
Novartis CEO Daniel Vasella, in an interview in the New York Times, discussed problems with the U.S. health care system, the role of the pharmaceutical industry and other issues.
According to Vasella, the U.S. should seek to improve patient education and nutrition, provide incentives for residents to engage in healthy behaviors, improve health care data management and reduce liabilities for providers and pharmaceutical companies. He also said that health care has made "huge progress" in the past 40 years, in large part because of new products developed by the pharmaceutical industry.
He added that the prices of prescription drugs have increased in recent years in part because clinical trials have become "longer and more difficult" and because "regulatory authorities, especially the FDA, have become extremely risk-averse."
In addition, Vasella said that pharmaceutical companies do not have a "drying up of the pipeline," adding that the "problem is that productivity has gone down significantly" because development of new products "takes longer and is much more costly" (Holstein, New York Times, 9/8).