Discuss the role of health policy and organizational structure on quality improvement within health care environments.

 The Cost of Drugs in the United States Compared to Other Countries


Discuss the role of health policy and organizational structure on quality improvement within health care environments.

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For this Assignment, Abstract and Position Paper, you will search for a scholarly journal to publish to. You will follow your selected journal’s guidelines for creating a position paper, except that your word count (for the body section of your paper, which excludes the abstract, title page, and references sections) will be 1200-1800 words. You will write an abstract for your paper as if it were going to be published. (The abstract is not the type of abstract you would submit in a paper but one you would write if submitting a paper for publication.) If your selected journal has guidelines for the abstract, follow those guidelines.

You must support your work with at least eight scholarly peer reviewed articles. Your literature review must evaluate quantitative and qualitative data from research articles. In addition, you must gather and analyze data and make a valid assumptions based on reasoning.

You must also link to the journal’s publishing guidelines, at the bottom of your paper. If there is no link, include a copy of the publishing guidelines in an Appendix to your paper.

You will write your position paper on your chosen policy change as if you were writing for your chosen journal. Your paper must include the following topics:

Abstract per instructions

Current situation necessitating the change

The proposed policy change

Agenda setting Shereen Robinson

A model or theory that can be used to bring about the change

Design strategies

Implementation strategies

Evaluation strategies Shereen Robinson


This Assignment presents a great opportunity for you to hone your writing skills and collaborate on working on an article for publication. You do not have to actually publish the article, but you may want to continue working with your group and your instructor to do so.

The Cost of Drugs in the United States Compared to Other Countries
Agenda Setting

Healthcare plays an important role in guaranteeing the quality of life of individuals. This is through its capability to alleviate factors such as pain and distress. To achieve this functions, healthcare integrates a variety of institutions, practices, equipment and supplies, which taken together, comprise the healthcare system. Universal healthcare is one of the global mandates of governments. As a concept, it envisages the access by all individuals to healthcare.

In order to achieve its various imperatives and outcomes, however, healthcare needs to be affordable. Cost is one of the most significant features of healthcare, whereby Americans incur significant healthcare costs each year. In one evaluation, Kantarjian, Fojo, Mathisen, and Zwelling (2013) indicate that the cost of healthcare in America stood at an estimated $2.7 trillion, which was more than $8,000 per person. Pharmaceuticals costs comprise one of the most costly items in the healthcare matrix. According to Kesselheim, Avorn, and Sarpatwari (2016), prescription medications account for 17% of total healthcare costs. This price has been on a steady increase, at a rate of 20% annually between 2013 and 2015. In comparison to other countries, the United States spent $858 on prescription drugs in comparison to an average spending of $400 by Canada, Japan and another 17 advanced industrialized nations (Kesselheim, Avorn, & Sarpatwari, 2016). Moreover, according to Kantarjian et al. (2013), the cost of anticancer agents has increased by more than twice in the last decade.

The high cost of drugs in the United States is alarming for a number of reasons, least of all not because it is remarkably higher than that of other countries (Kesselheim, Avorn, & Sarpatwari, 2016; Kantarjian et al., 2013). A second reason why these high costs are significant is that unaffordability of healthcare is one of the most pressing issues for most Americans. Jost (2016) reports that in a survey of America’s most serious health problem, respondents indicated that American voters were very concerned about their presidential candidates position on the affordability of healthcare. The unaffordability of healthcare in turn has adverse clinical outcomes. This is according to Kesselheim, Avorn, and Sarpatwari (2016) who indicate that increases in the cost of prescription drugs reduce the adherence of patients to the prescription regimen. This decline in adherence in turn leads to adverse health outcomes.

The sustained high cost of drugs, and the concomitant trend of a persistent increase in these costs makes it imperative to investigate what factors lead to these high costs. By understanding such factors, appropriate recommendations can be made which will contribute to lowering of drug costs. This will in turn lead to improved outcomes such as patience adherence to prescription regimes.

Evaluation Strategies

The evaluation strategies for the effectiveness of the proposed solutions will be based on the key antecedents pertaining to the identified problem and its proposed solution. Thus, since the main problem is the high cost of drugs in the USA relative to other countries, the success of the proposed solution will be evaluated based on the cost outcomes. In particular, several thresholds will be applied. This will include the absolute cost of drugs, cost relative to those of other countries, and the cost as a proportion of key indicators, relative to similar proportions in other countries.

The first strategy will involve monitoring the price of medication. Since the main aim of these proposals is to attain a reduction in the cost of drugs, then, attaining this outcome will be evidence of the effectiveness of the solution. The costs should reduce by a threshold of 35 to 40%. Other than absolute price, the cost of medication will also be evaluated relative to that in other countries. For the solution to be deemed effective, the cost of medication in the USA will need to go down to levels that are similar of slightly above the costs in other countries.

Jost, T. (2016, February 29). Affordability: The Most Urgent Health Reform Issue For Ordinary Americans. Retrieved from Health Affairs: http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2016/02/29/affordability-the-most-urgent-health-reform-issue-for-ordinary-americans/

Kantarjian, H. M., Fojo, T., Mathisen, M., & Zwelling, L. A. (2013). Cancer drugs in the United States: Justum Pretium—the just price. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 31(28), 3600-3604.

Kesselheim, A. S., Avorn, J., & Sarpatwari, A. (2016). The high cost of prescription drugs in the United States: origins and prospects for reform. Jama, 316(8), 858-871. 

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