Sen. Kennedy introduced the Healthcare Modernization Act to address—among other problems—the fact that the current system
neglects health promotion and disease prevention activities that have proved to be the most effective ways of reducing healthcare
costs and assuring good health.
Patients Speak Out
This bill calls for the nationwide adoption of mobile EMR technology by 2011. If the measure passes, it would go a long way
toward reducing the spiraling healthcare costs in a way that benefits, rather than demonizes, pharma.
Diabetes, for example, afflicts 17 million Americans. The disease accounts for $1 out of every $10 of overall health expenditures
and one-quarter of total Medicare expenditures. By using proven methods of prevention and treatment such as patient adherence
strategies, Kennedy believes it is possible to save 10 million Americans from diabetes-related amputations, disability, or
blindness during their lives—and save more than $50 billion a year in the process.
The pharmaceutical industry currently stands in a unique position, facing an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of
an impending revolution in healthcare efficiency that focuses on value and results. Although some steps in the path to healthcare
modernization—whether Kennedy's proposed HMA will pass, for instance, and whether the industry will be allowed to sponsor
EMR and e-prescribing software for physicians—remain an unknown, the industry needs only to put its collective effort behind
this new technology to finally realize a patient adherence model that works.