Talking Turkey

  • by: |
  • 07/23/2007
Last week I had the opportunity to speak to a roundtable of Turkish journalists on how the second largest nation in Europe can help to reinvent and reinvigorate its health care system.

We talked about why getting new drugs to market in a timely manner is in the best interest of the public health. We talked about how government-run health care systemts often make the mistake of focusing on cost-based rather than patient-centric care. We talked about the dangers of counterfeiting. We talked about the need to develop better "evidence" for the era of personalized medicine. We talked about the urgent need to design a health care system that stresses prevention and chronic care.

In short, it sounded very much like the health care debate in Europe and the United States.

Except there's one enormous difference -- Turkey, demographically speaking, is a young nation. And that's a terrific opportunity. Rather than focusing on the health care needs of a fast-aging population (as is the case in the US and the EU), Turkey has the chance to "start young and stay healthy" -- avoiding many of the "chronic" problems we now face (diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, etc.)

Turkey has the chance to avoid these health care anchors and show us all how to do it right.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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