Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back

By Daniel R. Matlis 

The Lifetime warranty is why so many people buy Craftsman Tools. It doesn’t matter if you inherited that wrench from your grandfather, as long as it says Craftsman on it, Sears provide you with a replacement if it brakes.
There is a business reason for this; Sears bets that the high quality of their tools will minimize warranty costs. 

But who would give a money back guarantee on Drugs?

According to Reuters, Janssen-Cilag, a division of Johnson and Johnson, has proposed such a guarantee to the National Health Service (NHS) in England for Velcade, a drug used to treat myeloma, a type of blood cancer.

According to published reports, patients on Velcade showing a full or partial response to the drug after a maximum of four cycles of treatment would be kept on it, with the treatment funded by the NHS.  However, patients showing minimal or no response would be taken off Velcade – and the costs would be refunded by Janssen-Cilag.  

Is this a sign of things to come? 

I think so.

This approach could enable a new health care paradigm, where all involved have the proverbial “skin in the game”. Patients get access to drugs that are nearly certain to be effective. Health care payers can “afford” to make new, and let’s face it expensive, treatments available to patients since they are provided a degree of confidence of treatment effectiveness, and limited downside though a refund.

As we move to personalized medicine, Pharmaceutical companies will be able to offer, with a high degree of confidence, the right treatment, to the right patient, at the right time.

With this confidence, manufacturers could move to a money back guarantee model, since, much like sears, the incidence of refunds would be minimal.

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