The patientís responsibility  pg. 2

Consumer Reports provides that kind of information through its Web site, which compares prescription drugs on price, effectiveness and safety, Neumann notes.

But while better education of physicians and patients may help improve drug safety, “at the end of the day, we’re probably going to be paying more for our health care,” he cautions.

“That’s probably not a bad thing… research shows in a very general sense we’re getting more health—we’re living longer, we’re alleviating symptom, we have less disability, and we’re paying more for that…

“I’d much rather live today with today’s medicine,” Neumann says, “even with today’s prices, than 30 years ago with 1970s medicine and 1970s prices.”

The key is getting the rules right. “You can swing the pendulum too far either direction,” he says. Too much regulation stifles innovation. “On the other hand, if you had no scrutiny or too little, then you’d have too many bad outcomes.

“So what’s the right mix? I don’t know, but I think that’s the right question.”

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