Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Current Events' Category

Links to start the week

FDA defends Orphan Drug Act. AI can detect breast cancer. Healthy life expectancy calculator. Fax of life. How formidable would Amazon be in pharmacy?

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Trump tax bill keeps the individual mandate

The Trump tax bill–potentially known as the “the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act“– includes provisions such as increasing the standard deduction and reducing the number of tax brackets from 7 to 4.  Additionally, a number of deductions are removed–such as capping local and state property tax deductions at $10,000 and only allowing mortgage interest deductions for […]

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Will CVS buy Aetna for $66 billion?

CVS is in talks to buy Aetna for $66 billion.  This would be a merger between one of the largest pharmacy benefits managers (PBM) in the country and the third largest insurer. A successful deal could push millions of Aetna’s members toward CVS’s retail pharmacies, walk-in Minute Clinics, and services such as home visits for […]

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How much is your life worth?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the answer is $10 million.  Other agencies place use a somewhat lower number.  The Food and Drug administration pegs the value at $9.5 million and the Department of Agriculture places the value at $8.9 million. Technically, what these agencies are calculating are the value of a statistical life (VSL).  […]

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Health plans getting into the PBM game

Bloomberg reports that Anthem is creating is own pharmacy benefits manager (PBM).  Why?  It says it wasn’t getting a good deal from PBMs. Health insurer Anthem Inc. plans to set up its own pharmacy benefits management unit, signaling a final break with Express Scripts Holding Co. after accusing it of overcharging by billions of dollars. […]

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Links

40% of American adults are obese. The real cost of drug development. Using the right p-value. The next big thing. Giannis!

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HWR is up

Hank Stern of InsureBlog hosts this week’s “Pink edition” Health Wonk Review. Check it out. Also of note this week is that Richard Thaler has the 2017 Nobel prize in economics.  For more on Dr. Thaler’s work, check out the Nobel Prize website.

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Genius

The 2017 MacArthur “Genius” Fellows were awarded this week.  One fellow of particular interest to this blog is mathematician and statistician Emmanuel Candès.  The Stanford University professor uses complex mathematical structures to improve the health care system.  As stated on the MacArthur website: Using an approach that draws on concepts from linear algebra and L1 minimization […]

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Mid-week Links

Why is health care in Singapore cheap? Increased use of biologics to treat patients with RA. Not ‘Rockin the suburbs’ Health Economics using Stata review Value of later school starts: $83 billion?

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2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine goes to…

Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, Michael W. Young.  The three Nobel prize winners received their prize for their work understanding the molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.  As summarized in the Nobel prize announcement: Using fruit flies as a model organism, this year’s Nobel laureates isolated a gene that controls the normal daily biological rhythm. […]

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