Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

U.S. Measles Outbreak?

According to the CDC, this year is on track to be the worst for measles in more than a decade.  CNN reports that: There were 159 cases of measles in the United States from January 1 through August 24, according to the CDC. If that trend continues, there will be more cases in 2013 than […]

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Vaccines=Big Business?

In 2005, the market for pediatric vaccines was about $5 billion and the market for adult vaccines was about $4 billion.  Yet these figures could be small potatoes.  The Economist predicts that pediatric vaccine market will reach $20 billion by 2014; the adult vaccine market won’t be far behind. What innovations may be on the […]

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Delivering Vaccines: A Case Study of the Distribution System of Vaccines for Children

A paper written by John Fontanesi and myself was recently published in the October 2009 edition of the American Journal of Managed Care. The paper is titled “Delivering Vaccines: A Case Study of the Distribution System of Vaccines for Children.” The abstract of the paper is below: Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of the central-  ization […]

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Paying poor people to get vaccinated

Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs have become very popular among development economists.  This programs pay poor families to have their children attend school and/or get vaccinated.  Some of the larger programs include Bolsa Família in Brazil and Oportunidades in Mexico.   Should economists support CCTs that pay the poor to get vaccinated?  This depends on 2 factors: 1) […]

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San Diego Measles Outbreak: Should parents be compelled to vaccinate their children?

This American Life has a very interesting show about the San Diego measles outbreak.  Outbreaks decades ago were due to the fact that poor individuals often could not afford to get vaccinated or see a doctor.  Now, this is not a problem since vaccines are generally made available for free for those who cannot pay. […]

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Vaccination rate overstated

The Washington Post reports that the number of children who have been vaccinated in developing countries has been greatly exaggerated.  Political pressure to increase vaccination rates as well as financial incentives from NGOs rewarded increased vaccinations has driven these reporting errors.  Hat Tip: Marginal Revolution.

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“Spending on bioterror defense has made us less safe”

Merrill Goozner of GoozNews has an interesting interview with Richard Ebright, a chemistry professor at Rutgers University.  The two discuss the Bruce Ivins, anthrax, and bioterrorism.  A few poignant excerpts. Ebright: “We’ve spent $57 billion in biodefense since 2001. The annual budget for NIH is only $30 billion. The spending has been disproportionate to the […]

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Should all children get flu shots?

According to Reuters (“All U.S. kids…“), the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is recommending that all kids should receive an influenza vaccination. Previously, the CDC recommended that all children 0-6 receive a flu shot. Now, all children 18 and under should get the shot. In addition to the direct health benefits the children […]

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Too few US adults get their shots

Reuters reports (“Too few…“) on the problem that U.S. adults not receiving necessary vaccines. “Only 2 percent of U.S. adults last year got a shot that can protect them from painful bouts of shingles, health officials said on Wednesday in a study that shows what they call unacceptably low rates of adult vaccination against a […]

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