The $2.6 Billion Pill — Methodologic and Policy Considerations. Jerry Avorn in the NEJM. Understated article pointing out the figures often used to justify drug prices are hidden, and tricky to accept at face value. And that help of the cost relates to capital costs, figured at over 10% per year, whereas bonds issued by drug companies only pay 1–5%. As has been said before, Pharma is doing its very best to enjoy the same reputation as Banks now have. It was not always this way, and they were profitable too, then.
I do hate agreeing with Richard Smith, but I think he is right when he says “I spoke at the centenary meeting of the MJA last year, and my core argument was that the time of journals as conduits for publishing science is coming to an end”. The context is that the Australian Medical Association keeps sacking its editors, and the reasoning appears to be about money (or at least morality versus money). Journals are major sources on income for many clinical societies, together with annual meetings. They need to plan for when both sources of income dry up. I argued this over 15 years ago and — you will point out — it hasn’t happened yet. But it will ( if only in large part). Of course, what will not want to accept the end of journals, will be the vast audit culture of UK Higher Ed.
Is the ‘closed’ mindset of the Open Educational Resources community its own worst enemy? Donald Clark makes lots of great points. A few quotes: “ I still encounter fierce resistance and an almost visceral dislike of Wikipedia by professional educators, yet universal acclaim by learners and users; Rather than celebrate the existence MOOCs, many educatiors immediately engaged in a guerrilla war against either the quality of the content or the ‘privatisation’ of education; More focus on saving costs would not be ‘managerialism’ but an honest attempt to lower the cost of education, which we know is spiralling out of control. Education (not information) wants to be free. “ Finally, a new one on me: CAVE dwellers (colleagues against virtually everything)
Message to My Freshman Students. Keith M Parsons. “However, things are very different for a university professor. It is no part of my job to make you learn. At university, learning is your job — and yours alone. My job is to lead you to the fountain of knowledge. Whether you drink deeply or only gargle is entirely up to you.”
Adjunct teaching: For love of the lecture. Nature. “Before and after her classes, Finley advises and tutors students, a commitment for which she receives no compensation. “I’m one of the first professors these students have, and I love it,” she says. “But I’m not paid for those hours, even though those are the hours I remember the most. Financially, it’s not easy.” Welcome to Baumol’s law, and the business model that now underpins most service industries.
U.S. Will Pay Med Schools To Reduce Glut of Doctors. Well this is from 1997, but made me smile. No doctors, no patients. Think of the savings.