Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for August, 2017

Friday Links

FDA and anti-aging drugs. In defense of the dismal science. Which U.S. city decreased their minimum wage? Medicaid expansion, access and wait times. Are formulary restrictions ever a good thing? The logic of risk taking. Cancer is natural?

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Warren Buffet, Success, Correlation and Causation

Warren Buffet once stated:  “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.” I agree with with Buffet’s statement.  However, many self-help blogs have interpreted this as a causal statement. Gregg McKeown of Entrepreneur magazine comments on the Buffet quotation as follows: As I wrote in […]

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What do drugs cost in the long run?

That is the question that Lakdawalla et al. (2017) attempt to answer in the latest edition of the American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC).  The long-run average cost (LAC) of a pharmaceutical includes not only initial branded drug price, but also subsequent prices increases and decreases, especially those that occur after a treatment’s patent has expired […]

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What outcomes matter to patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis?

That is the question that the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) Working Group attempted to answer. Specifically, the working group aimed to determine the core set of outcome domains for measuring the effectiveness of shared decision-making (SDM) interventions within clinical trials used to treat rheumatic diseases.  These diseases included osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and psoriatic […]

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Healthcare Economist name a top 50 blog

Cables and Sensors, a patient monitoring website, named the Healthcare Economist as one of the Top 50 medical blogs.

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What are the politics of people against vaccinations?

Are Democrats or Republicans more likely to argue against vaccination?  A recent article by Charles McCoy in The Conversation reveals that the answer is not so clean cut. What I found is that the more political someone is, the more likely he or she is to believe that vaccines are unsafe. Those who are “very […]

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What’s All the Fuss About Precision Medicine?

That’s the title of my article released today in U.S. News and World Report.  Here is an excerpt. A number of health care industry leaders are making big bets that the future of health care lies in precision medicine. This July, Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg donated $10 million to the University of California-San Francisco’s […]

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Is being popular bad for your mental health?

The answer appears to be ‘yes’ according to a study by Narr et al. (2017).  They find that: Close friendship strength in midadolescence predicted relative increases in self-worth and decreases in anxiety and depressive symptoms by early adulthood. Affiliation preference by the broader peer group, in contrast, predicted higher social anxiety by early adulthood. Results […]

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The association between observed mobility and quality of life in the near elderly

In a recent paper with Jeff Sullivan, Dana P. Goldman, and Thomas M. Gill in PLOS One, we try to answer this question. The paper’s abstract is below.   Introduction Chronic diseases associated with aging, such as arthritis, frequently cause reduced mobility, pain and diminished quality of life. To date, research on the association between […]

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What do patients think about price shopping?

Initiatives such as high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) aim to transfer risk form insurers to patients. The rationale behind this risk transfer is that when patients are in control of more funds, there will be less moral hazard and patients will use health care resources more efficiently. That is the theory, but does it bear out […]

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