Pharma CEOs pitch their own reform ideas

If drug company CEOs had their way, U.S. healthcare reform would look quite different from the package now making its way through the Senate. At a Cleveland Clinic summit this week, drugmaker execs offered their own prescriptions for the healthcare system. Here's a sampling:

Schering-Plough chief Fred Hassan (photo) would tax sugar-sweetened sodas, as some lawmakers have suggested. He'd also require people who have unhealthy habits to pay more for their care. Presumably that would include smokers, heavy drinkers--maybe even those who imbibe too much sugary soda. "I feel if they're adding to the cost of the system, there has to be a level of responsibility," Hassan said (as quoted by Dow Jones).

AstraZeneca CEO David Brennan (photo) would cover gym memberships and other preventive measures, rather than restricting coverage to disease treatment. "Somehow we've got to get that flipped around so people take more responsibility," he said.

Daniel Vasella (photo), CEO of Novartis, took a different tack, recommending caps on medical-malpractice awards. Spending on malpractice insurance and defensive medicine is way out of hand, he says.

Like these pharma-sourced solutions? Should Congress tack them onto their current bills? Let us know what you think.

- read the Dow Jones piece
- get more from the Wall Street Journal Health Blog

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