Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Pharmaceuticals' Category

Quality Adjusted Cost of Care Analysis

The health care industry should take into account outcomes when weighing the cost of new treatments and technologies and make quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) part of the equation, say the authors of a study in the April issue of Health Affairs. This is the begining of an article in Managed Care Magazine that reviews a […]

Read the rest of this entry »

International Reference Pricing

What is international reference pricing (IRP)? IRP is system whereby a country states that they will pay no more than the price paid by another country or a basket of countries. In theory, countries could also regulate drug prices by saying that they would not pay more than X% of country A’s price or X% […]

Read the rest of this entry »

The case for and against prescription painkillers

Oftentimes, prescription pain killers are demonized. Opponents of painkiller are likely to cite statistics like this: The annual number of opioid painkiller prescriptions is now at more than 200 million. In hand with that, overdose deaths have shot up from over 4,000 in 1999 to more than 16,000 in 2013, according to data provided by […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Patient adherence to antipsychotic medications

Patients with schizophrenia often require medication—such as antipsychotics—to control the symptoms of their disease. However, adherence to these medications has been poor. Valenstein et al. (2004) estimate that 40% of patients are non-compliant with therapy [i.e., mediation possession ratio (MPR)<0.8]. Why are schizophrenia patients likely to be non-complient to antipsychotic therapy? One key reason is […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Why doesn’t evidence based medicine spread faster?

One reason is that physicians may value their own experiences (i.e., learning by doing) over the accumulated experience across many providers.  A paper by Berndt et al. (2015) look at physician prescribing patterns of antipsychotic.  They note that some physicians concentrate in prescribing specific antipsychotics and others concentrate on prescribing other ones. The authors claim the […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Why isn’t there more mental health drug innovation?

There have been a number of efforts emphasize the importance of mental health and put mental health treatments at the same level of respect as physical health.  For instance, there was the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 and also The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) , which: …requires group […]

Read the rest of this entry »

What is Precision Medicine?

In his State of the Union, the President said that he was looking for additional funds for precision medicine. What would these funds be used for and how much money are we talking about? The details were revealed last week. The Presdient describes precision medicine as “delivering the right treatments, at the right time, every […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Do specialty drugs provide good value?

Specialty drugs have greatly improved quality and duration of life for many patients.  Specialty drugs have been developed for a variety of illnesses, such as cancer, hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.  However, these drugs are typically very expensive.  Are they worth the cost? A paper by Chambers et al. (2014) find the following: …specialty drugs offered […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Pharmaceutical Cost Offsets

Does increasing use of prescription drugs decrease cost?  There is evidence on both sides of the aisle.  However, a recnet paper by Deb, Trevedi and Zimmer (2014) does find evidence of cost offsets using a sophisticated copula-based bivariated dynamic hurdle model.  This model, models drug and non-drugs spending and for each dimensions models the probability […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Longer trials or larger sample size?

Developing drugs is expensive. Some estimates have estimated that the cost of bringing a drug to market is $1 billion. In addition, payers are now reimbursing based on the perceived value of a treatment. That is, treatments that provide more health benefits receive higher reimbursements. In this world of value-based pricing (VBP), pharmaceutical companies have […]

Read the rest of this entry »