GSK’s JPG for MA

GSK’s JPG for MA

GlaxoSmithKline’s CEO, JP Garnier gave a speech in Philadelphia yesterday suggesting that the US use the new Massachusetts health care plan as the basis for a national program to ensure at least a basic level of coverage for everyone.

I assume he is aware that the “bare bones” MA plans won’t necessarily include outpatient prescription coverage. (The current “bare bones” plans offered by MA health plans don’t and as far as I know the bill doesn’t mandate coverage.) Even so, it could be in GSK’s interest to promote such plans. By taking the burden of the uninsured off of commercial customers it makes more money available for rising premiums, including drug costs. And once the bare bones plans become established, there may be a push for subsidized drug coverage as well –as happened with Medicare. Finally, someone with insurance for a doctor’s visit may be able to afford to pay out-of-pocket for some drugs.

There’s another explanation for Mr. Garnier’s comments. Perhaps he’s simply appalled that so many people in this country lack health insurance.

April 18, 2006

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