Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Pharmaceuticals' Category

FDA Hedges

Pharmaceutical companies face major risk.  There is risk that the drugs they are researching don’t work (e.g., lack of efficacy) or are not safe.  There is risk that health insurers or government payers will not cover their treatment.  And there is risk that the FDA will not approve a drug after a Phase III clinical trial. […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Applying Cost Effectiveness Analysis to all Health Care Interventions

That is the topic of a Health Affairs blog post published today by James Baumgarder and Peter Neumann.  An excerpt is below. Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) is an important tool for assessing and pointing the way toward better health care efficiency. The number of published CEAs on health care interventions has blossomed, averaging 34 per year […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Does drug detailing affect prescribing patterns?

The obvious answer seems to be ‘yes’.  Why would pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars on drug detailing (i.e., visits by pharmaceutical representatives to physicians to explain drug benefits) and drug samples if they don’t work?   When I say billions, I mean billions: A new study by Datta and Dave (2017), however, finds that drug […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Drug approval and reimbursement when clinical trials use surrogate endpoints

An interesting paper from some of my colleagues at Precision Health Economics: Approval of new drugs is increasingly reliant on “surrogate endpoints,” which correlate with but imperfectly predict clinical benefits. Proponents argue surrogate endpoints allow for faster approval, but critics charge they provide inadequate evidence. We develop an economic framework that addresses the value of […]

Read the rest of this entry »

How do payers use patient reported outcomes?

This is the question asked by a study conducted by Brogen et al. (2017).  To see how payers use patient reported outcomes (PRO) in oncology, the authors conducted a literatures search, and searched the websites of the following health technology assessment bodies: Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) in Australia, Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Which cancer treatment is best?

This seems like a straightforward question, but clearly depends on what you mean by “best”.  Some drugs will be more efficacious and have more adverse events; other drugs may be less efficacious but have fewer adverse events.  What if a one drug shows an 80% improvement in progression free survival (PFS), but a 50% improvement in overall […]

Read the rest of this entry »

How much money do drug companies get for their drugs?

Let’s say a you fill a 30-day prescription and the list price of the drug is $100.  Let’s say that you pay a $10 copay and your insurer pays $90.  What share of this $100, does the drug company receive. Most people would guess pretty close to $100, but a recent report by Aaron Vandervelde and […]

Read the rest of this entry »

How we should pay for cures, according to economics

I have an article up at the Washington Post‘s In Theory blog titled How we should pay for cures, according to economics. Imagine a major medical breakthrough: a cure for Alzheimer’s. Imagine that cure not only would improve the cognitive abilities of the more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s but also would give these patients […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Do pharmaceuticals have value to healthy people?

Value-based pricing has become all the rage of late among health policy wonks. Medicare aims to tie 90% of reimbursement to some measure of value by 2018. The AMA has endorsed value-based pricing for pharmaceuticals. Organizations such as IVI and ICER propose different approaches for measuring value as well. Typically, value is measured as the […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Geographic Variation in the Quality and Cost of Care for Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

This is the title of my latest article in JMCP co-authored with Arijit Ganguli,  Yuri Sanchez Gonzalez, Jin Joo Shim, and Seth A. Seabury.  The paper’s abstract is below. BACKGROUND: There is considerable push to improve value in health care by simultaneously increasing quality while lowering or containing costs. However, for diseases that are best […]

Read the rest of this entry »