Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Public Policy' Category

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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Value Framework Guidelines

In recent years, a number of organizations have developed value frameworks to assess new treatments.  These organizations include the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), Memorial Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center (Drug Abacus), American Society for Clinical Oncologists (ASCO),  National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), European Society of Medical Oncology (Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale). […]

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Is Finland ending welfare?

Maybe yes.  According to City Journal: This year, the Finnish government hopes to begin granting every adult citizen a monthly allowance of €800 (roughly $900). Whether rich or poor, each citizen will be free to use the money as he or she sees fit. The idea is that people are responsible for their actions. If […]

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Is evidence-based policymaking in crisis?

A thought-provoking article from The Long+Short, make some interesting point on this topic: …the problem seems to be caused by the use of the treatment-response model, in a context where the choice of how to analyse the data is made after collecting it. As Gelman details, if this is what you do, then it is very […]

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Orphan Drugs

How can policymakers incentivize innovators to invest in new treatments for rare diseases? One solution policymakers invoked was enacting the Orphan Drug Act of 1983 which provided a number of benefits–including lower tax rates–for innovators who created drugs to treat rare diseases. Was it effective? According to a paper by Miller and Lanthier (2016), the […]

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Off label prescribing: Q&A

The Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy has a great overview of some of the issues related to off-label prescribing.  Below is a summary of some key points from this article. What is off-label prescribing? Off-label prescribing and use can take many forms, such as use of an approved drug for an unapproved clinical indication, use at […]

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Health care spending a key driver of future budget deficets

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its 2016 10-year budget projections last month and the numbers do not look good.  CBO estimates that the 2016 federal budget deficit will be more than half a trillion dollars ($544 billion), which will cause the total level of federal government debt to increase to 76% of GDP. How […]

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President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget

How does President Obama propose to change the budget in the coming year?  Here are his key proposals. $500m for mental health. The budget includes $500 million in new mandatory funding to for individuals with serious mental illness.  The funding would be used to support”…additional states in the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic demonstration; increases access to […]

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State of the Union 2016: A Health Care Review

As I have done every year, below are excerpts from the State of the Union address that focus on health care (full transcript here). President Obama did not offer any specific policies except potentially additional funding for cancer research. The President did mention the success of the ACA in maintaining insurance for people transitioning to jobs […]

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Every Boston resident owes $3,000 for…

underfunded liabilities for city worker health care costs.  Brookings reports: Like most American cities, Boston has promised to pay most of the health care premiums for its employees after they retire — which can be as early as age 45 or 50. Boston also subsidizes the Medicare premiums of its retired employees after age 65. […]

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