New Feature Focuses on Biotechnology Issues

John Marcille

We’re all time travelers. It’s just that we only move forward and, not to get gloomy, for only a relatively short span. We don’t go back. If we could we might — out of curiosity — leap 3,800 years to when Babylon’s King Hammurabi issued his code for physicians. This is the subject of our story on page 30. That story itself is a time traveler. We published it in 1997 and it remains one of our best-read pieces on the Web, so we’re serving it up in print again.

Most things in this world don’t last long. For instance, our sister publication, Biotechnology Healthcare, was launched back in 2004. This high-quality publication highlighted extremely interesting articles and departments, as evidenced by reader feedback and expert writers’ contributions.

However, as I am sure you have read, almost all magazines are suffering declines in advertising pages. We have regretfully suspended publication of Biotechnology Healthcare.

Even so, it will not disappear entirely. It is now a regular feature in Managed Care, beginning with this issue. And why not? Management of biotech drugs is of increasing (I would argue crucial) interest to our readers.

Which brings us to our cover story by contributing editor Joseph Burns. He investigates what the Institute of Medicine calls the “learning health care system,” one that’s continuously focused on process improvement.

The idea is to create a model that systematically eliminates waste. The good news is that we already have the tools. In fact, some corners of health care do it quite well.

The trick now is to make the whole system follow suit. Such an accomplishment would be hailed for a long time. Maybe not as long as Hammurabi’s Code, but why not shoot for the stars?

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