Discovery, development, regulation and marketing of the medications that are used in health care and the economics of the pharmaceutical industry.

Medicare Coverage, With a Catch

Oct. 1, 2019

There’s good news and bad news. The good news is Medicare drug plans are increasing coverage of newer, better drugs to prevent blood clots in people at risk. The bad news is that coverage comes with significant strings attached, including higher patient copayments that could prevent access to the newer, better drugs.

A Concept Analysis of Analgesic Nonadherence for Cancer Pain in a Time of Opioid Crisis

Jun. 28, 2019

William E. Rosa, Barbara Riegel, Connie M. Ulrich, Salimah H. Meghani

Abstract [from journal]

Background: Pain is one of the most common symptoms identified along the cancer trajectory. Among patients with moderate to severe cancer pain, nonadherence to prescribed analgesics may complicate treatment plans and exacerbate pain severity. Nonadherent behaviors are likely due to a number of individual/family, provider, and system level factors and may lead to negative pain-related outcomes.

Method: The purpose of this concept analysis is to clarify the concept of analgesic nonadherence for cancer pain and


Endogenous Productivity of Demand‐Induced R&D: Evidence from Pharmaceuticals

Jun. 25, 2019

Kyle Myers, Mark Pauly

Abstract [from journal]

We examine trends in the productivity of the pharmaceutical sector over the past three decades. Motivated by Ricardo's insight that productivity and rents are endogenous to demand when inputs are scarce, we examine the industry's aggregate Research and Development (R&D) production function. Using exogenous demand shocks to instrument investments, we find that demand growth can explain a large portion of R&D growth. Returns to scale have been stable, whereas total factor productivity has declined significantly. Predicted rents based on our


National Variation in Opioid Prescription Fills and Long Term Use in Opioid Naive Patients After Urological Surgery

Jun. 5, 2019

Ian Berger, Marshall Strother, Ruchika Talwar, Justin Ziemba, Christopher Wirtalla, Leilei Xia, Thomas Guzzo, M. Kit Delgado, Rachel Kelz

Abstract [from journal]

Purpose: Prescription opioid use is increasing, leading to increased addiction and mortality. Post-operative care is often patients' first exposure to opioids, however little data exists on national prescription patterns in urology. We aimed to examine post-discharge opioid fills after urological procedures and their association with long term use.

Materials and Methods: We identified patients in a private national insurance database undergoing 15 urological procedures between October 1, 2010 and September 30,


Can We Afford to Cure Cancer?

Oct. 26, 2018

Novel gene and cell therapies hold out the promise of a cure for previously incurable conditions, often at eye-popping prices. Last month, more than 75 health policy and biomedical researchers, federal and state regulators, and clinicians convened at the Cost of a Cure Conference at the University of Pennsylvania to discuss key political, economic, and clinical challenges to the future of gene and cell therapies.

Penn’s Gant Family Precision Medicine Consortium Takes on Sustainable Targeted Oncology

Sep. 20, 2018

Biomedical advances in genomics and oncology, combined with rising costs for targeted cancer therapies, challenge the way we currently deliver and pay for cancer care. To foster the economic sustainability of targeted therapies, the University of Pennsylvania convened the Gant Family Precision Cancer Medicine Consortium, a multidisciplinary work group of experts from health care economics, policy, law, regulation, biomedical research, patient advocacy, and the pharmaceutical and insurance industry.

Cost-effective Screening and Treatment of Hepatitis C

Issue Brief
Sep. 17, 2018

In just five years, hepatitis C has changed from a difficult-to-treat chronic condition to one that is readily cured by a short course of medication. Medical breakthroughs have now created the possibility of eliminating the transmission of HCV, but also bring a new challenge for the health system—how to identify individuals carrying the hepatitis C virus (HCV), and how to pay for life-saving treatments. This Issue Brief reviews recent evidence on the cost-effectiveness of screening and treatment strategies, and makes the case for universal, one-time HCV screening for all US adults.