Bye-bye Berwick (Morning Read)

Current medical news from today, including CMS Administrator Donald Berwick’s last day, Pfizer’s plan to fight generic Lipitor doesn’t fly with pharmacy benefit managers, and a proposed solution for cheaper medical journal articles.

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

Berwick out. Friday was CMS Administrator Donald Berwick’s last day on the job. But he didn’t bow out without offering some final thoughts — like that 30 percent of spending on health is wasted. An article in Health Affairs outlines Berwick’s tenure at CMS, and a shorter piece at Kaiser Health News summarizes his top 5 accomplishments, including making CMS less bureaucratic, pushing hospitals to improve safety and promoting innovative healthcare delivery models. Marilyn Tavenner’s appointment is awaiting approval.

Execs think Pfizer’s plan won’t be successful…but they do think it’s groundbreaking. In a survey of 42 healthcare benefit managers, two-thirds of them believe Pfizer’s moves to protect sales of Lipitor following the loss of its patent will not protect the drug’s market shares in the first 180 days that a generic Lipitor is available. But, it was noted, Pfizer’s moves are still important because the company has been aggressive in a never-before-seen way in attempting to preserve its brand.

A proposed solution for pricey journal articles. Stewart Lyman thinks he’s got a solution to the problem of unaffordable science journal articles: a searchable, pay-per-article electronic library that’s a cross between PubMed and iTunes.

MergerTech Capital: A fund for the backend of healthcare. A former partner of Miramar Ventures is leading a new $50 million health IT fund called MergerTech Capital, which will focus on “IT infrastructure associated with healthcare, including cloud services, data security, consumer Internet, mobile applications, and managed IT.”

It’s not quite a Series A crunch… In this video, Duncan Davidson of Bullpen Capital outlines the new, “lean” model of venture capital fundraising, where the company bypasses a A round or raises the bare minimum until it validates its market and then brings in the big bucks.