Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'International Health Care Systems' Category

How long are delays in cancer drug approvals outside the U.S.?

Stereotypically, the U.S. health system is seen as one that is expensive and inefficient, but one where patients do get the fastest access to new innovation.  However, does that prove true in reality?  A paper by Zhang et al. (2017) attempts to answer this question by looking at 45 oncology drugs approved by the FDA […]

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Why does the U.S. spend more on health care than other countries?

A paper in JAMA by Papanicolas, Woskie and Jha (2018) try to answer the question.  One reason could be that Americans are less healthy than people in other countries.  On the one hand, Americans do have the highest rate of obesity in the world; on the other hand, smoking rates are among the lowest. Another […]

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Health care in Peru

Located in South America, Peru is almost twice the size of Texas and has 31 million people.  About one third of these live along the coast, largely in Lima.  About half of the population–largely Amerinidan population–live in the Andean highlands, with the rest spread on the eastern slopes of the Andes and the adjoining rainforest.  […]

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How does cost sharing rules influence drug prices in Germany?

Typically, we look at how changes in cost sharing affect patient demand.  However, rules regarding patient cost sharing also influence life sciences firms’ decisions about what price they should use for their products.  A paper by Herr and Suppliet (2017) looks at the effect of changing cost-sharing rules in Germany in their latest paper. The […]

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Innovation in small markets

The introduction of new treatment technologies typically occurs where there is a large market.  A lot of innovations are developed to treat disease that affect a large number of people in the developed world because the financial returns are large.  It is less likely to observe innovation in the treatment of rare diseases or diseases […]

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Does more spending improve outcomes?

A number of studies have claimed that increased health expenditures may result in no better, or even worse outcomes.  For instance, a paper by Fisher et al. (2003) looking at patients with acute myocardial infarction, colorectal cancer, or hip fracture finds that “Quality of care in higher-spending regions was no better on most measures and […]

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Do the US and UK health care systems have anything in common?

The United Kingdom’s National Health Services provides universal health coverage at not cost to patients.  On the other hand, in the U.S. not all people have insurance, and further insurance can be provided by public entities (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid), private and employer-provided health insurance, and other sources.  Whereas the NHS system is highly centralized, the U.S. […]

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Will the UK become a “desert for healthcare innovation”?

That is the claim made by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).  Lisa Anson, who took over as ABPI president last week, told The Times that the financial squeeze on the NHS threatened the whole of Britain’s £30 billion life sciences sector as firms would reconsider working in the UK.  ABPI asked for the […]

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Pay caps on nurses in the UK

I’m finishing my time in the UK today and head back home tomorrow.  The British Society for Rheumatology 2017 conference was interesting, on the news the key headlines were pay for National Health Service employees, nurses in particular. Due to budget shortfalls, the NHS froze nurse pay between 2010 and 2012.  Beginning in 2012, pay raises resumed […]

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Access to cancer care in the UK

Being sick in the United Kingdom has advantages and disadvantages.  Supporters will cite that out-of-pocket costs are generally low, coverage is universal, and the price of health care to the government is lower. One question is, what is the quality of care received?  Critics cite that access to cutting edge, innovative treatments is often restricted or […]

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