Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Public Health' Category

Effect of job loss on physical and mental health

Previous research has found that losing your job has an adverse effect on your physical and mental health.  Because losing your job is endogenous, often studies of this sort look at plant closures as an individual’s job loss is largely uncorrelated with individual performance. An interesting paper by Schiele and Schmitz (2016) take this a step […]

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Is Precision Medicine ready for prime time

According to two researchers, the answer is no.  As they write at Stat: As we wrote recently in Science, three key barriers are impeding the drive toward truly transformational precision medicine: researchers often don’t rigorously test the biological theories that supposedly explain why a targeted treatment should work; they haven’t fully determined the accuracy of the diagnostic […]

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Can physicians affect medication adherence?

According to a recent study by Koulayev, Simeonova, and Skipper (2016) using data from Denmark, the answer is ‘yes’. Non-compliance with medication therapy remains an unsolved and expensive problem for healthcare systems around the world, yet we know little about the factors that affect a patient’s decision to follow treatment recommendations. In particular, there is […]

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Sounds like a good idea?

Kaiser’s family of website has some interesting posts of late.  The Kaiser Family Foundation presents 10 Essential Facts about Medicare Prescription Drug Spending.  They show the increasing price of U.S. prescription drugs spending over time. They also show that many patients with Medicare Part D, still bear a large share of prescription drug costs for […]

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Children and Cost-Benefit Analysis

Alan Balch, PhD, discusses the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review’s (ICER’s) Value Assessment Framework tool that aims to provide stakeholders in healthcare with evidence to make more informed decisions regarding new cancer therapies. Dr Balch also considers limitations to the tool’s effectiveness. Plus, he even discusses why if we lived life using a strict […]

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Gates: US Drug pricing system is ‘Better Than Most’

There has been a lot of criticism of drug prices in the U.S. One person not included the chorus of critics is Bill Gates. In an interview with Bloomberg, he said: “The current system is better than most other systems one can imagine,” Gates said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “The drug companies are […]

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Brexit = upheaval for drug makers

Will the European Medicines Agency (EMA) need to re-located after Brexit? According to a Reuters story, the answer is yes. The EMA is a London-based organization that approves treatments for all EU countries. As the UK leaves the EU, however, EMA is expected to have to relocate. 600 individuals work for EMA. More important is […]

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Patient perspective on cancer care funding

Improvement in survival (a.k.a. efficiacy) clearly are important, but what other factors matter?  According to a systematic literature review by MacLeod, Harris and Mahal (2016), these factors include: patients favour funding for cancer medicines that improve health outcomes demonstrated by ‘clinical efficacy’ [Oh et al.], ‘prolonged survival’ [Goldman et al., Seabury et al. Lakdawalla et al.] and/or […]

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Infectious Disease: Themes

An interesting post by Nicolas Bagley at the Incidental Economist provides a brief overview of a class he taught on infectious diseases and the law.  Looking at diseases ranging from cholera, Spanish flu, polio, AIDS, SARS, and Ebola, Bagley claims that ten key themes emerged: Governments are typically unprepared, disorganized, and resistant to taking steps […]

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Avoiding Lead poisoning

Lead poisoning, perhaps surprisingly, is still a major problem in the U.S. Lead poisoning in the water supply in Flint, Michigan is grabbing all the headlines, but other sources of lead poisoning are also problematic. John Oliver has even dedicated an entire show to the problem of lead poisoning in the U.S. How do you […]

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