US Pharm. 2008;33(5):8.

Physicians Favor National Health Insurance
Indianapolis, IN -- According to a survey of 2,200 physicians conducted by the Indiana University School of Medicine's Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research (CHPPR), more doctors than ever before favor national health insurance. Fifty-nine percent of the physicians surveyed said they would support government legislation that would establish a national health insurance policy, up from 49% in 2002. "As doctors, we find that our patients suffer because of increasing deductibles, copayments, and restrictions on patient care," commented Ronald T. Ackermann, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine and associate director of CHPPR. "More and more, physicians are turning to national health insurance as a solution to this problem."

Americans Divided Along Party Lines on Quality of U.S. Health Care
Boston, MA -- A Harris Interactive poll conducted in conjunction with the Harvard School of Public Health uncovered that the percentage of Republicans who think the U.S. health care system is "the best in the world" far overshadows what Democrats and Independents think. According to the survey, 68% of Republicans surveyed gave kudos to the U.S. health system compared to 32% of Democrats and 40% of Independents. Only 19% of Republicans polled said they were more likely to support a candidate who advocates making the U.S. health care system more like those in other countries. This is compared to more than half (56%) of Democrats and more than a third of Independents (37%) who say they would be more likely to support such a candidate.

Rite Aid to Offer On-Site Health Clinics
Camp Hill, PA -- Rite Aid Corporation is joining the growing group of drug chains that offer walk-in clinics in their stores. Rite Aid has joined forces with MedStar Health, a mid-Atlantic health care system located in Columbia, MD, and Consumer Health Services, a Washington, DC-based company that manages health clinics. Rite Aid plans to roll out the MedStar PromptCare in-store clinics this summer at four locations in the Baltimore and Washington, DC metropolitan areas. The clinics will be staffed by physicians to provide treatment for many commonly reported ailments such as strep throat, flu, urinary tract infections and injuries such as lacerations, sprains, and minor fractures. The clinic will also perform wellness screenings and vaccinations.

Record R&D Spending by U.S. Biopharmaceutical Companies
San Francisco, CA -- According to an analysis conducted by Burrill & Company, a company that specializes in Private Equity, Venture Capital, Merchant Banking and Media and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), investment in all biopharmaceutical research and development in 2007 reached a record $58.8 billion. PhRMA-member companies alone accounted for an estimated $44.5 billon, up 3.5% from 2006.

New Pharmacy School to Open in South Carolina
Clinton, SC -- Presbyterian College's board of trustees approved a proposal to create a new pharmacy school. The target site for the new school will be in Upstate South Carolina. The school, which is expected to open in the fall of 2010 pending accreditation, will serve a total of 300 students. The college is in the process of searching for a dean to help guide the new pharmacy school through the accreditation process.

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