National Pharmaceutical Council Launches Going Below the Surface, a Research Initiative to Explore the Different Dimensions of Health Care Spending

Andrea Hofelich, National Pharmaceutical Council,, 202-827-2078

Leah-Michelle Nebbia, W2O Group,, 646-664-4729

(Washington, D.C., February 1, 2018) –The National Pharmaceutical Council today launched Going Below the Surface—a new research-first initiative intended to engage stakeholders across the health care ecosystem in conversation about what’s driving health care spending in the United States and how we can spend more effectively. Going Below the Surface comes at a time of intensifying national debate around health care costs that has yet to translate into sustainable solutions.

“The health care spending discussion has stalled partly because it has become about pointing fingers and blame, rather than seeking constructive steps about how we can spend our health dollars more effectively,” said Dan Leonard, president of NPC. “Going Below the Surface is pursuing research to get to the roots of health care spending and understand what it will take to improve our system to the benefit of all patients and stakeholders.”

Robert W. Dubois, MD, PhD, chief science officer and executive vice president of NPC, added, “Conversations around health care spending in the United States have long focused on questions of ‘How much do we spend?’ rather than delving deeper to ask, ‘How well do we spend?’ With Going Below the Surface, NPC is asking this very question by funding research that explores the different dimensions of health care spending, taking into account the very real need from patients, physicians, and health systems for outcomes-changing medical advancements. We hope by doing so, we can generate findings and potential solutions that make our health care system more responsive to these needs.”

Among the topics being tackled as part of the research supported by NPC and Going Below the Surface are how to address low-value care, willingness to pay for health care services among various stakeholders, health care allocation and international comparisons of health care spending. NPC is also supporting a series of papers and blog posts in Health Affairs, the leading peer-reviewed health policy journal, along with a conference, Health Spending: Tackling the Big Issues, accessible via livestream.

Visit to learn more about the initiative, and follow along with the conversation using #GoingBelowTheSurface on social media.

About the National Pharmaceutical Council

The National Pharmaceutical Council is a health policy research organization dedicated to the advancement of good evidence and science, and to fostering an environment in the United States that supports medical innovation. Founded in 1953 and supported by the nation's major research-based pharmaceutical companies, NPC focuses on research development, information dissemination and education on the critical issues of evidence, innovation and the value of medicines for patients. For more information, visit and follow NPC on Twitter @npcnow.