They have to find a balance between having a gatekeeper role for the insurance companies and being an advocate for the patient.
Assigning a gatekeeper role to primary care physicians had the intention of lowering healthcare costs because fewer tests and referrals would be made.
The insurance companies need to find an appropriate balance between their responsibilities towards both shareholders and patients.
Quarterly reports for stockholders encourage the companies to focus more on profits than affordability.
Marcia Angell, previously an editor of the , has written extensively about the unethical behaviors of pharmaceutical companies. Through personal experience the author who had an office practice since the early 1980s, witnessed a sinister change in the way pharmaceutical companies market their products to physicians.
Previously they sent pharmacists with depth of knowledge about their products to objectively educate the physician about the benefits and risks of a particular brand medication.These actions cause healthcare spending to increase as well.By placing the physician between these two roles, a conflict of interest is created. For the purposes of our discussion we define stakeholders as those entities that are integrally involved in the healthcare system and would be substantially affected by reforms to the system.The major stakeholders in the healthcare system are patients, physicians, employers, insurance companies, pharmaceutical firms and government.However, this is not working and it may be best to re-evaluate the role a primary care physician has in regards to referring patients.A coordinator role may be more beneficial than gatekeeper status.Although PHARMA spent billion on R&D in 2006, it spent nearly twice as much on promotion, and it consistently has profit margins far above those of most Fortune 500 companies.Whether or not you argue that pharmaceutical companies have a moral responsibility to ensure that people can afford their products, at the very least they have the duty to be honest and practice fair marketing.The prices for drugs are rising, and there are no caps to prevent them from reaching extravagant prices.The argument that the pharmaceutical companies need to charge ever higher prices to cover research costs is simply not true.