Ronald Reagan’s vision for healthcare (Morning Read)

Among today’s current medical news: Ron Reagan a healthcare visionary(?); Sanofi-Aventis inches closer to Genzyme takeover; bad news for stem cell research; why Pfizer is laying off the wrong people; and phone tips for medical staff.

Current medical news and unique business news for anyone who cares about the healthcare industry.

Ronald Reagan discusses healthcare reform. It was Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday this weekend, and Avik Roy offered his insight into Reagan’s healthcare policy. Reagan — in a non-shocker — was against Medicare and plays the socialized medicine card as quick as any modern politician. Buy Roy points out that Reagan endorsed an alternative pitched by conservative Democrats that Roy thinks could have “evolved into an effective, federalist approach to health care reform.”

Whether or not Medicare and Medicaid are politically popular, the fact remains that these programs are disastrously inefficient, offering the elderly and the poor worse care than they could receive under a less socialized system, and putting the country’s financial stability under significant risk.

Sanofi takover of Genzyme still on the table. A $19 billion deal that would see Sanofi-Aventis take over Genzyme could be done in the next few days. The two sides were holding separate discussions on Sunday, according to Reuters.

Stem cell research stumbles. A temporary funding ban for human embryonic stem cell research has done severe damage to research, according to a new study. “What’s more, ongoing uncertainty about funding for human embryonic stem cell research negatively affected scientists working with non-human and non-embryonic stem cell types as well as the controversial cell lines at the center of the controversy,” writes The Chicago Tribune. Many researchers are delaying stem cell research or shifting away from human embryonic stem cell research.

Pifzer needs layoffs… but they should come from sales and manufacturing not from R & D.

From a purely macroeconomic point of view, R&D just doesn’t stand out as one of Pfizer’s out-of-whack budget lines. Rather, sales and manufacturing seem to be the ones barrelling ahead of the revenue streams they generate.

Phone manners for medical staff. Step-by-step instructions for medical staff to make a call, take a call and deal with patients.