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BackPage Online, November 2019

doi: 10.1097/01.BACK.0000605148.25480.ec
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Most High-Tech Health Interventions Likely to Fail—Because They Ignore the Root Causes of Ill-Health

Investors are pouring billions of dollars into high-tech health interventions that are likely to fail. “From high-tech fitness trackers to genome sequencing and pill delivery services, the number of health care startups has exploded. In 2018, investors poured more than $8 billion into digital health startups, up from $5.7 billion invested the year before on the promise of shaking up health care, and innovating our way to better health,” according to Shannon Brownlee and colleagues. These investors are buying into two unproven paradigms: (1) that high-tech tracking improves health; and (2), that these types of interventions can succeed in improving health, without also taking into account the social, economic, and environmental roots of ill-health.

Here is a link to the commentary at the San Francisco Examiner:

https://www.sfexaminer.com/opinion/health-care-needs-to-be-disrupted-but-not-in-the-way-startups-think/

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Opioid Manufacturers Ordered to Pay Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Major Court Cases

Judges in the United States have ordered opioid manufacturers and marketers to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for their contributions to the opioid overtreatment epidemic—and subsequent rash of opioid overdose deaths. The State of Oklahoma recently sued Johnson & Johnson for $17 billion dollars for fueling the crisis that has killed more than 6000 Oklahomans. A judge found Johnson & Johnson liable and required the drug manufacturer to pay $572 million to the state. Opioid manufacturers and marketers are worried they will see similar, as well as larger, judgements in many states. And they are lobbying furiously to come up with arrangements that would cap similar awards.

Here is a link to the commentary at Kaiser Health News:

https://khn.org/news/judge-cites-opioid-menace-awards-oklahoma-572m-in-landmark-case

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Physicians Gradually Losing Autonomy in Their Medical Decision-Making

Physicians and other healthcare providers frequently have to bump heads with insurers and third-party payers to identify interventions that will win reimbursement. And they are consistently opposed to letting third parties make decisions for them. However, in a world of excessive medical spending these care providers need to regulate themselves or pass that duty on to someone else. Here is a link to an op-ed piece in the New York Times in which cardiologist Sandeep Jauhar argues that physicians need to be more pro-active in terms of regulating their professions and solving major healthcare problems.

Here is a link to the article in the New York Times:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/11/opinion/health-care-regulation.html

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