the other drug war [home]

Marcia Angell
The former editor in chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, Angell is currently a senior lecturer in social medicine at Harvard Medical School. She disputes the pharmaceutical companies' argument that they need a high profit margin to fund the research and development of new medicines. In fact, she says, the industry piggybacks off publicly-funded research at the National Institutes of Health and other academic institutions. She also argues that most of the pharmaceuticals' profits are not derived from new drugs, but rather from "me too" drugs, or imitations of drugs already on the market. This interview was conducted on Nov. 26, 2002.

Richard Evans
Evans is a senior research analyst of global pharmaceuticals at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Previously he worked in business development for Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant. He calls the pharmaceutical industry an "innovate or die" industry, and explains that companies need to fund research and development to replace patent-expiring products. Price controls, he says, would be very damaging to the industry, and would not solve the fundamental health care access problem in the U.S. FRONTLINE conducted two interviews with Evans, on Feb. 11, 2003 and Feb. 28, 2003.

raymond gilmartin
Gilmartin is president, chairman and CEO of Merck. In this interview he talks about the riskiness of drug development, the benefits of direct-to-consumer advertising, the issue of "me too" drugs, Oregon and Maine's differing approaches on cutting drug costs, and the future of the pharmaceutical industry. This interview was conducted on Jan. 9, 2003.

John kitzhaber
A former emergency room physician, Kitzhaber was governor of Oregon from 1995 to 2003. One of his top gubernatorial priorities was reining in the state's skyrocketing Medicaid costs. He believed that one way to spend state health dollars more effectively was to make the public aware of the true costs and benefits of available drugs. In this interview he describes his efforts to push a bill through the state legislature to create a Consumer Reports-style preferred drug list to give doctors an unbiased, objective source of information about prescription drugs. This interview was conducted on Oct. 11, 2002.

Marjorie powell
Powell is the senior assistant general counsel for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a trade association representing pharmaceutical and biotech companies. She tells FRONTLINE that the solution to the prescription drug crisis is a Medicare drug benefit. "In this day and age, when drugs are such an important part of the health care system, to have the federal program for seniors not cover drugs just makes no sense," she says. However, Powell argues against government-imposed price controls because, she contends, the majority of new drugs are developed in the U.S. due to its free market system, which serves as the driving force behind research and development. This interview was conducted on Feb. 14, 2003.

uwe reinhardt
Reinhardt is a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University and has been studying the U.S. health care system for two decades. In this interview he discusses why this is "the decade of the states" for health policy. He also talks about the need for doctors to be better informed about pharmaceuticals, why Oregon's approach will be copied by others, the benefits of direct-to-consumer advertising, and the current and future situation facing the drug industry. This interview was conducted on Oct. 9, 2002.

Julie Rovner
Rovner is a health policy correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR). In this interview, she describes the political fault lines in the battle to reconcile the House and Senate Medicare prescription drug benefit bills. "Time is running out," Rovner tells FRONTLINE. "They've resolved everything except these big divisive issues. And the question is not so much whether it can be resolved in a way that can get a majority in the House, which will need the conservative Republicans, and a majority in the Senate, which will need the Senate Democrats. And right now both of these groups are standing up saying mutually exclusive things." This interview was conducted on Nov. 10, 2003.

Sidney taurel
Taurel is the chairman, president and CEO of Eli Lilly. In this interview he talks about the drawbacks of Canada's price controls, Maine and Oregon's measures for reining in drug costs, and the benefits of direct-to-consumer advertising. This interview was conducted on Nov. 20, 2002


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posted june 19, 2003

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