Robert Popovian


The Facts Are Getting in the Way of a Good Story

As the great Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Finally, the facts, in the form of data released in several new studies and systematic analytical reviews, are undermining the narrative that drug costs have been the main driver of rising health care expenditures and insurance premiums.

Five Important Questions on Health Care Costs

No one disputes that addressing ever-increasing health care costs in the United States is an important societal and policy goal. The rise in out-of-pocket costs leaves patients and families vulnerable to significant financial hardship. Ultimately, the solution is to evaluate and reward the most cost-beneficial interventions in health care. Unfortunately, policymakers today are deluged with an array of incomplete or biased set of data points which may lead them to draw incorrect conclusions that could possibly hinder the development of biopharmaceutical cures of the future.

In Drug Development, It’s About Time

  When considering the cost and value of innovative pharmaceuticals, one critical factor often overlooked is the impact of “time” at every stage of biopharmaceutical research. First, consider that biopharmaceutical research most often evolves in three stages. Stage one is when scientists discover and develop a molecule. Companies spend billions of dollars comparing the novel […]

No Substitute for Better Study to Protect Patients

  It’s baseball season so it seems timely to cry foul on the practice of therapeutic substitution, as well as a recent study encouraging its use. Every day, healthcare professionals observe first-hand how diagnostic and dispensing decisions are often influenced by external cost-control measures. Whether it is through a step therapy protocol, a fail first […]

Beyond Patent Life, Biosimilars Policy Requires a Nuanced Touch

It is well known to any newly-minted pharmacy school graduate that minute changes in atomic structures of molecules making up synthesized medicines can have a significant impact on the final product. A good illustration of this concept can be found in the chemical differences between erythromycin, an antibiotic discovered and developed in the 1970’s, and […]

The System is Working – A Not-So-Surprising Finding

  Every year, the month of March brings a few surprises. There may be an unexpected blizzard in Washington, D.C., a heat wave in Minneapolis or even rain in Southern California. Turns out, the surprise this year was that drug spending didn’t grow as fast as it did in 2014. Annual reports by the two […]

Dedicated Scientists Driven to Discover Cures

“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty and persistence.” – Colin Powell In my 20 years with Pfizer, I have been directly involved in several late stage clinical development programs both as a medical director and a health outcomes scientist. Most of my engagement began during the submission of a […]