FROM THE PUBLISHER
As one reflects on the year 2016, some will remember it as a transformative time period in history. Political happenings in the US and Korea are heralding big changes, and it will affect healthcare industry as well. Obama had changed healthcare sector in the US with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA, for those outside the US, was a movement to require more people to have health insurance for benefit of those who did not receive proper healthcare and also to healthcare providers and their related services by providing medical reimbursement system. The new administration wants to “repeal” ACA so less people, especially the lower socioeconomic class, will have coverage for healthcare. The future is uncertain with many changes to come.
In the 12th issue of WKMJ, we interviewed Dr. Waun Ki Hong, who is a very prominent Korean American physician with a long distinguished career and achievements. Dr. Hong has been involved in cancer care and research since the US government declared War on Cancer in the 1970’s by President Nixon. He was at the preeminent oncology institution in the world, MD Anderson, where he has had prominent leadership role. Dr. Hong’s accomplishments are numerous and his fostering the next generation of researchers will lead to further breakthroughs in the War on Cancer. The War on Cancer has not been won yet, but many battles have lead to victories.
The entrepreneur interview is with Mark Paxton of Rx-360, an international nonprofit consortium with the aim of improving patient safety by sharing information and developing processes to improve the integrity of the healthcare supply chain. As supply sources and chains become more international, the delivery of healthcare products requires quality assessments in every step and must be cost effective through economies of scale. The Rx-360 is dedicated in evaluating all angles to develop and implement quality systems as well as opportunities for cost savings.
In closing, I would like to memorialize the greatest physician and athlete Dr. Sammy Lee, who competed in two Olympics and won 2 Gold and 1 Silver medals in diving for the US and was featured in the first issue of WKMJ. In addition, World Korean Medical Organization had a busy 2016 with meetings in Seoul, Korea and at US Congress in Washington DC. We look forward to another great year and I would like to wish all a Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.
David Y. Ko, MD
President of WKMO
Keck School of Medicine of USC
FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
As TIME magazine put it, “one of the most shocking U.S. elections in modern political history”, Mr. Donald Trump has defeated Secretary Hillary Clinton in 2016 US presidential election. During his campaign, Mr. Trump has promised many things such as ‘building a wall along the border of Mexico’, ‘repealing the Affordable Care Act’, ‘renegotiating NAFTA’ and a lot more. His election, coupled with Republican sweep of Washington also generated a ton of enthusiasm for biotech and pharma industries. Stock prices for US biopharma companies have been up by 10% to 15% since the election. It reflected optimistic view from the industry that government drug price control will no longer be threat to the drug manufacturers. But, from his recent interview with the TIME magazine in December, Mr. Trump suggested that some stock analysts may have misread his intentions, and reassured his goal of bringing down drug prices. Since the innovation needs to be rewarded, raising prices of new drugs cannot always be criticized. Nonetheless, patients’ affordability and accessibility also need to be weighed as same importance as rewarding innovators, because therapeutic products and technologies deal with lives of human beings.
Through the 12th edition of WKMJ, we have interviewed a physician leader in therapeutic world, who has brought both innovation and accessibility of cancer treatments to the world. Dr. Waun Ki Hong is the Head of Division of Cancer Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas and also the past president of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Dr. Hong shared his story and insight with our readers, and told us his great passion, devotion and success he had established throughout his career in cancer researches. Dr. Hong had been the greatest role model for Korean American physicians and younger generations as well as among medical researchers.
For the Entrepreneur Interview, we featured Mr. Mark Paxton, CEO of Rx-360, International Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Consortium, an organization which deals with the hottest topic of the pharma industry, supply chain management. I have long history of personal and professional relationship with Mark over decades, through the Asia Pacific Economy Cooperation (APEC) activities, APEC Harmonization Center, Regulatory Harmonization Institute (RHI), Columbus Project, and more. Mark was my partner with the role of Executive Vice President when I launched W Medical Strategy Group in 2014. I always enjoyed his expertise, insights, great personality, and friendship. I am glad to share his story with our readers.
Addition to these two major articles, we have rich selection of articles which will bring amusement of reading to our readers. World Korean Medical Journal is currently seeking an innovative step forward by conducting a project to enhance its contents and expand readership. You will meet with a whole new WKMJ from the editions of 2017.
DoHyun Cho, PhD
Editor in Chief
President & CEO of W Medical Strategy Group
Chairman of New York Health Forum