It’s hard to pin him down. He is willing to condemn fee-for-service reimbursement and endorse an accountable care organization model but the conversation stops there. He doesn’t even give me a chance to finish asking about his thoughts on single payer; he talks right over me. He’s most famous for both working in the pharmaceutical industry and also being a champion of increased access to medicines. When I ask him how he personally navigates the tension between the “incentive for innovation” and increasing access to medications worldwide, he describes the financial strategy of providing funding to help defray cost and risk to pharmaceutical companies, but there is no mention of his own inner, ethical dialogue.
This is my chance to take advantage of the “old boys’ club” network and I feel it being schmoozed and side-stepped away with tangentially related anecdotes.
I get the distinct feeling that this is how it feels to be a member of the press interviewing a politician and that confuses me even more because the context of our conversation is not an antagonistic one. We were invited to chat with him over a meal so that we could learn from him -- we were even asked to submit questions ahead of time!
I’m also pretty sure that he doesn’t like me.
Dammit. How depressing. I can’t even make friends when I want to.