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Friday, May 25, 2012

Guest Post from J. Thomas Shaw - Author of The RX Factor

A Solution to Transform Medical Research and the United States Health Care System

Despite spending more than any other nation in the world on health care, only 15% of Americans believe we have the world’s best health care, according to a recent Pew Research Center and Gallup Poll. The CIA world Factbook reports that the United States is ranked #50 in terms of average life expectancy. The average age at death in the U.S. is 78.49 years of age, over 11 years behind #1 ranked Monaco.

This is where you end up on the list with a “make money at all cost” health care system. However, I have a three step plan that will transform medical research and the health care system as we know it in the U.S. If we act now, we can go from #50 to #1 by 2030 while at the same time cutting our spending on health care in half. My plan will also drive down insurance premiums, making coverage affordable for the vast majority.

Half of the country is demanding that the government stay out of health care while the other half is supporting a quasi-socialized health care system. With such vehemently opposing views, there is zero chance for a consensus and therefore nothing will ever get done that moves us in the right direction. And this is exactly what Big Pharma wants. Therefore, the first step is to change the debate. From Hillarycare through Obamacare, we have been debating {health care} costs and {health insurance} coverage. Cost and coverage are not the problems; they are symptoms of the real problems which are {unidentified} causes and {a lack of} cures.

The next step is to stop donating money to the mega health charities who each take in tens of millions of dollars annually by offering hope to find a cure, but continue to come up empty as a result of Big Pharma’s influence over all medical research. Instead, not-for-profit universities conducting medical research need to sever their ties to Big Pharma and seek funding from private citizens. The vast majority of medical researchers want to be involved in discovering the cause and cures for human ailments, but they also have to live and they know who butters their bread. If private individuals fund this research, then our nation’s medical researchers no longer need to be beholden to Big Pharma.

The third step is to fight fire with fire. Like any other publicly traded company, Big Phamra has a fiduciary responsibility to increase shareholder value by enacting business plans that will increase revenues and profits year over year. In the current environment, the best way to accomplish that objective is to get more people reliant (addicted) on the drugs they produce.

Big Pharma’s mission is not necessarily to get every single American popping their daily maintenance drugs, rather it is to make as much money as possible and selling addictive maintenance drugs is the best way to accomplish that mission as things stand right now. Therefore we need to change the tax code and enact legislation to make their pursuit of profits align with the greater good of the health our citizens.

This can be accomplished by the carrot and stick approach. First we need to show Big Pharma the stick:

1. Institute a windfall profits tax on any profits derived from any new products developed that is considered a maintenance drug.

2. Eliminate deductions for R&D expenses associated with any drug being developed as a maintenance drug and not a cure.

Next is the carrot:

1. No income tax paid on the profits generated by any product that cures a human ailment – for eternity.

2. Offer permanent patent protection on any product produced that offers a real cure. Expand patent protection to natural cures documented in human trials.

3. Pricing – fix pricing on drugs that cure human disease to make it as profitable to cure as it does to maintain in today’s health care environment.

This is all about money. If we have the courage to make those changes to the tax code and enact this type of meaningful health care reform, within 15 -20 years, we will have a cure for nearly every human disease known to man. In addition, the cost of health insurance will be affordable for almost everyone and the vast majority of us will end up living much longer and more productive and healthier lives.

About J. Thomas Shaw

J. Thomas Shaw is the author of The RX Factor, a fact based thriller that pits one man against Big Phamra and the FDA. Fact based fiction has the power to bring people from all walks of life together and focus on a single issue. Check it out at The web site includes reviews, excerpts, a book trailer that has been viewed by over 50,000 fans in the past few months, a book review contest and a 6 day/7 night dream vacation sweepstakes. You can follow the author on Twitter @thejshawfactor and on Facebook at the link below:

Watch for my review coming up on The Rx Factor next month. You won't want to miss this!

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