Medical laboratory managers are getting an important lesson in the power of price transparency to motivate patients to complain about arbitrarily high prices for healthcare services and products
By now, most clinical laboratory managers and pathologists know about the EpiPen pricing scandal. Simply said, it illustrates all the flaws and problems in the US healthcare system that make it possible for vendors and providers to raise prices arbitrarily and stick the bill on health insurers, employers, and patients.
However, it was one change in the healthcare system that caused the outrageous pricing strategy of EpiPen’s manufacturer, Mylan Inc., to become national news: price transparency for patients. That change is a result of the increased number of patients who must pay high deductibles and co-pays as a requirement of their health insurance plan. Thus, because tens of millions of patients were forced to pay for most or all of the cost of EpiPens, it was their complaints about the high cost of this device that brought the story to the attention of the national news media. (more…)
Trend from reductionism to holistic biomedicine means clinical laboratories and pathologists should expect increased multiplex testing
Systems biology (SB) is a rapidly-evolving area of research that, by itself, could greatly expand the need for multiplex testing performed by clinical laboratories. But systems biology has yet to catch the full attention of either the media or Wall Street.
That may soon change. Despite the complexity of human metabolic systems, experts in systems biology are making progress in identifying the myriad of metabolic channels that collectively can be used to diagnose disease and identify appropriate therapies. These are auspicious developments for medical laboratory managers and pathologists.
Probably no single individual has done more to advance the field of systems biology than Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph.D. In 2000, he co-founded the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) in Seattle, Washington and his colleagues engaged scientists across a number of fields to study the metabolic processes of humans and other organisms.
Clinical Pathology Laboratory Customers of Millipore Not Likely to See Many Changes
It only took a few days for Millipore Corporation (NYSE: MIL) to find a buyer willing to outbid Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO). Millipore agreed to be acquired by Merck KGaA (FWB: MRK) of Darmstadt, Germany. Merck will pay about $7.2 billion for Millipore, which tops a reported bid of $6 billion made by Thermo Fisher last week.
Because many clinical pathology laboratories use Millipore’s water purification systems and other products, the pending acquisition of Millipore by Merck represents more consolidation among vendors serving the clinical laboratory industry. The acquisition is expected to close during the second half of 2010.