Penn Researchers Win PAN/AJMC 'Best Paper' Award

Penn Researchers Win PAN/AJMC 'Best Paper' Award

Jalpa Doshi-Led Team Wins First Place Honors and $10,000

A drug cost-sharing paper produced by a University of Pennsylvania team led by Jalpa Doshi  has won a PAN/AJMC research challenge and a $10,000 prize.

The national contest called "The PAN Challenge: Balancing Moral Hazard, Affordability and Access to Critical Therapies in the Age of Cost Sharing," was jointly sponsored by the Patient Access Network Foundation  (PAN) and the American Journal of Managed Care  (AJMC). 

Rare and chronic diseases
Focused on patients with rare and chronic diseases, it challenged health services researchers to find innovative strategies for providing critical drugs to underinsured patients who could not otherwise acquire or afford them.

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Jalpa Doshi, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine; Pengxiang Li, PhD, is a Senior Research Investigator in the Division of Internal Medicine at the Perelman School. Both are LDI Senior Fellows.

Specifically, researchers were asked to address the following questions: How does federal policy regarding health care cost sharing (e.g., deductibles, co-pays, coinsurance, out-of-pocket limits) affect the ability of individuals with chronic and rare diseases to have affordable access to critical therapies? What policy solutions are likely to improve access to critical therapies for individuals with chronic and rare diseases?

Authored by Doshi, PhD, an Associate Professor of Medicine at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine, and Pengxiang (Alex) Li, PhD, a Senior Research Investigator at Perelman, the first-prize winning paper in the Medicare category is titled, "High Cost Sharing and Specialty Drug Initiation under Medicare Part D: A Case Study in Newly Diagnosed Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Patients." Both Doshi and Li are LDI Senior Fellows.

The paper was presented at a Kaiser Family Foundation Cost Sharing Roundtable at the Kaiser Family Foundation Barbara Jordan Conference Center  in Washington and has been  published in a special supplement of the AJMC.

'Growing cost-sharing obligations'
In a press statement, PAN Foundation President and CEO Dan Klein said his organization got involved in the challenge because it "is concerned about the growing cost-sharing obligations for people living with life-threatening, chronic and rare diseases."

Klein said PAN hoped to "stimulate a dialogue about how to ease the financial burden and improve the quality of life for millions of patients and their families."

PAN is a twelve year old national non-profit organization that provides various kinds of financial and other supports to underinsured patients with chronic diseases.

Brian Haug, President of the AJMC said the publication backed the challenge because " with the rising cost of healthcare, especially pharmaceuticals, increased cost sharing is a challenge to patients."