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RED HOT Contributors


Episode 11 – ‘Unrigging’ The High Cost of Drugs


drug costs

 Drug costs are rising and there’s no stopping in sight. By 2018, we’re looking at an estimated 50% rise – that’s a $70 million dollar increase…EVERY SINGLE DAY.

 The chief culprit is specialty drugs – which (swallow hard folks) – account for only 1% of all prescriptions and 40% of the total spend. This is more than just greedy drug companies, PBMs, and health payers…it’s about an unmet need to shine light on a system that’s been rigged to benefit everyone handsomely – EXCEPT the consumers that financially support it.

Our show is about disruptors – and our next guest fits the bill. His company has smartly developed a unique analytics platform that offers consumers the ability to drive down health spend, while increasing personalized drug therapy outcomes.

The largely non-competitive drug system often punishes consumers at the end of its supply chain. For Vivio Health and its CEO Pramod John, the mission is clear. Balance the scale by analyzing the health data of specialty drug users, reducing health dollars spent, and improving outcomes received from the therapy.

Pramod cut his teeth, serving as founder and CEO at PacketMotion – which was eventually acquired by VMWare. He then stepped into healthcare technology, serving as VP of Strategy and Innovation at McKesson, the world’s largest healthcare company. Here is where he gained a valuable understanding of healthcare delivery, infrastructure, and supply chains.

He then founded Oration PBC, which developed a disruptive model for capturing prescriptions directly from EMRs without integration and providing pricing and routing options in real time. Now, with veterans from McKesson, CVS Health, ESI, Wellpoint, Genentech, Pfizer and Novartis, John founded Vivio Health in early 2016.

In this episode, Dr. Steve and Pramod discuss:

  • The political process and healthcare consumerism
  • Health insurance vs. Health
  • Drug pricing…is where you ‘pick it up’
  • Major misunderstandings of the FDAs true role
  • A disruptive model (without a PBM) to get consumers and companies the most effective drugs at the best prices.



 I have had the privilege and pleasure of working with Steve Ambrose on a podcast that covered a range of topics in healthcare information technology. The podcast logistics – communications, interview questions, scheduling and production – were every well managed.
A great experience that I would do again in an instance.

Dr. John Glaser
SVP, Population Health at CERNER

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