A new poll of doctors across the country finds that physicians desperately want to play a bigger role in the political process, especially when it comes to healthcare reform.

As the number of uninsured Americans continues to climb, political candidates are being called upon to make sweeping changes to the U.S. healthcare system. As a result, doctors say it's more important than ever for them to become more involved in the political process, according to the survey conducted by the American College of Physician Executives (Tampa, Florida).

An overwhelming majority of the more than 760 doctors who responded to the survey said the input of doctors is vital if the healthcare system is ever truly going to be reformed. A majority also said they vote in every election and many donate money to candidates or causes they support. But they also expressed frustration and cynicism when talking about politics.

"I have given up on the political process," one survey respondent wrote. "Washington fiddles while Rome burns. Hearings regarding steroids in baseball are given more attention than fixing our national disgrace of the uninsured. At best, politicians are 'useful' idiots. At worst, they are venal and utterly unconcerned about the ongoing collapse of our healthcare 'system.'"

The results of the survey are published in the May/June issue of The Physician Executive Journal of Medical Management.

UPS caters to med-tech industry

UPS (Atlanta) reported an expansion of its capabilities for handling and managing the shipment of temperature-sensitive medical items, including around-the-clock intervention when necessary to use refrigeration or replenish dry ice.

The new suite of time- and temperature-sensitive capabilities has been developed for the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries.

The service uses the UPS Proactive Response, which provides a monitoring engine for proactive, around-the-clock attention to help ensure product integrity. The contract service, available in 72 countries, includes dry ice replenishment or refrigeration at select air gateway facilities and intervention in the event of unexpected delays.

The Proactive Response service can automatically compare data on where a package is against where it should be and direct pre-arranged actions to avoid problems or speed recovery. These integrated processes, particularly when applied to healthcare, take advantage of recently simplified UPS dry ice standards that meet IATA or 49CFR requirements.