#MEQAPI – Tweetchat May 24-2018 3:00ET Drug Costs

Just a reminder, MEQAPI stands for Monitoring & Evaluation, Quality Assurance, and Process Improvement, and you can visit us at http://www.meqapi.org.

We are in crisis with drugs.

There are people forced to choose between food and getting their medications, between paying the rent and staying alive, and there are people dying because they simply lack the money to pay for their medication.

The beliefs that market forces would bring drug prices to heel, spur innovation, and lead to more people getting better drugs at lower prices has not materialized. Instead, we we see examples such as a drug for infantile spasms going from $40 a vial to $40,000, and diabetic patients who die as a result of trying to stretch their insulin shots because of the high cost.

We have also seen numerous scandals of price fixing, market manipulation to create shortages, and just plain banditry, but the bigger problem is that US drug prices are typically multiples of the price of identical drugs in other countries – even for drugs developed and sold in the U.S.

This chat will cover several aspects of healthcare related to drug costs.

Some reading material from Physician’s Weekly and other sources:

drug prices


  1. Policies: How do drug policies, laws, and processes lead to drug price increases, or in controlling drug prices?
  2. Equipment: What risks, issues, and missed opportunities related to pharmaceutical equipment and devices influence drug prices
  3. Measurement: What measurements influence drug prices, and what measurements are still needed?
  4. Environment: What environmental factors influence drug prices?
  5. People: What people factors drive drug prices up or down?
  6. Materials: What pharmaceutical materials influence the price of drugs?


MEQAPI focuses on healthcare improvement, and in the spirit of shameless borrowing (and efficiency), takes existing perspectives from the IHI, AHRQ, and others.

To quote the IHI on what the Triple Aim encompasses:

The IHI Triple Aim is a framework developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement that describes an approach to optimizing health system performance. It is IHI’s belief that new designs must be developed to simultaneously pursue three dimensions, which we call the “Triple Aim”:

  • Improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction);
  • Improving the health of populations; and
  • Reducing the per capita cost of health care.

The six domains of care quality (STEEEP) mapped out by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) are foundational to healthcare improvement. All care, and by inference quality measures, should be focused on being Safe, Timely, Effective, Efficient, Equitable, and Patient Centered. We expand this to include Accessibility, STEEEPA.

The MEQAPI tweetchat aims to give voice to a broad range of stakeholders in healthcare improvement, and it embraces everyone from administrators to zoologists, and includes physicians, nurses, researchers, bed czars, cleaners, and yes, patients and care-givers.


The Author and Moderator: Matthew is a principal analyst for healthcare improvement at the Washington D.C. based firm of Whitney, Bradley, and Brown (WBB), and is a strategic adviser and board member at the Blue Faery Liver Cancer Association. Matthew is a peer reviewer for the international journal of Knowledge Management Research and Practice, and blogs regularly for Physician’s Weekly.




Published by

Matthew Loxton

Healthcare Analyst using Lean Six Sigma, Knowledge Management, & Organizational Learning to improve healthcare http://linkedin.com/in/mloxton

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