West Health Policy Center Expands Team, Boosting Commitment to Lowering Healthcare and Prescription Drug Costs


WASHINGTON, DC – June 26, 2019 – The West Health Policy Center has appointed Sean Dickson, JD, MPH as a director of health policy. Dickson, formerly of The Pew Charitable Trusts, will lead West Health’s efforts supporting policies and programs to lower skyrocketing drug prices.

According to a recent West Health-Gallup poll, 48 million people can’t afford their prescriptions, 1 in 4 skip a medical treatment due to costs, and Americans collectively borrowed an estimated $88 million in the past year to cover healthcare costs.

“Every day, U.S. families make gut-wrenching choices to afford healthcare and life-saving medicines. It shouldn’t be this way in our great nation,” said Tim Lash, president of the West Health Policy Center. “Sean is a valuable addition to our team whose pharmaceutical and policy expertise will advance West Health’s common-sense solutions to change the trajectory of rising drug prices and restore access to vital medicines for millions of Americans.”

Dickson’s career has focused on increasing access to healthcare, with specific attention to reducing prescription drug costs. He is a nationally recognized technical expert on the American drug system, including the full market lifecycle of pharmaceuticals, and previously led policy and research activities under Pew’s Drug Spending Research Initiative. Dickson’s research and analyses are often cited in government reports and by media, and he frequently advises state and federal policymakers on the technical aspects of proposals to reduce drug spending.

Prior to his work in domestic health policy, Dickson worked in international development, focusing on HIV and maternal health policies in East Asia, East Africa and the Caribbean. In 2016, he was recognized as one of 30 Top Thinkers under 30 by Pacific Standard Magazine. Dickson completed his graduate studies at the University of Michigan, preceded by undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago.

Nonpartisan, nonprofit West Health is focused on lowering healthcare costs to enable seniors to age in place. According to www.healthcostcrisis.org, an interactive West Health website and crisis clock that tracks and forecasts healthcare spending in America in real time, the U.S. currently spends more than $420 million per hour on healthcare, and the nation’s total healthcare spending will top $12 trillion by 2040.

West Health supports measures to eliminate fee-for-service practices and accelerate the move to value-based care; empower Medicare to directly negotiate drug pricing, which it is currently prohibited from doing; and create true price transparency for patients, businesses and the government.

About the West Health Policy Center and West Health
Solely funded by philanthropists Gary and Mary West, West Health is a family of nonprofit and nonpartisan organizations including the Gary and Mary West Foundation and Gary and Mary West Health Institute in San Diego, and the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C. West Health is dedicated to lowering healthcare costs to enable seniors to successfully age in place with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence. Learn more at westhealth.org and follow @westhealth.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Sofia Kosmetatos
Director of Public Affairs
skosmetatos@westhealth.org
202.729.8574

Tim Ingersoll
Director of Communications
tpingersoll@westhealth.org
858.412.8727