Pharmaceuticals

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

SUMR 2018 Attends AHRQ National Research Service Awards Conference

Jul. 2, 2018
The 24nd annual National Research Service Award (NRSA) Conference took place in tandem with the 2018 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel and the adjacent Washington State Convention Center. NRSA is part of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) program that provides training, grants and other supports to undergraduate, predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees and fellows in the health services research field. This year's event was attended by 23 Summer Undergraduate Minority Research (SUMR) scholars from the University of Pennsylvania program co-...

Dentists Tackle Opioid Epidemic

Apr. 25, 2018

 Last month, the American Dental Association (ADA) announced a new policy on opioid prescription. This is the latest in a series of statements issued by the ADA in response to the prominent role of dentistry in the opioid epidemic.

Conflict of Interest Among Public Speakers at FDA Advisory Committees

Apr. 23, 2018

Engaging patients, families, and independent experts in policymaking is a laudable goal, but the process of doing so isn’t necessarily straightforward. If efforts to introduce patient and public perspectives also introduce bias, they may do more harm than good. A recent study raises concerns about bias in public engagement, finding that public engagement efforts by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may attract speakers with significant conflicts of interest (COI), which are frequently undisclosed.

Three Solutions to Maximize the Clinical Benefit and Affordability of Targeted Cancer Drugs

Apr. 18, 2018

Spending on cancer drugs in the United States has nearly doubled in the past five years and continues to grow, imposing substantial financial burden on patients with cancer. One of the biggest drivers of this growth is targeted cancer drugs – small molecules, monoclonal antibodies, and other therapies for cancer that target specific genomic aberrations. Now, a group led by the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania has proposed three solutions to maximize the clinical benefit and affordability of targeted cancer drugs.

Prior Authorization Requirements for Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin Type 9 Inhibitors Across US Private and Public Payers

Research Brief
Mar. 28, 2018

A comprehensive review of prior authorization (PA) requirements for a new class of expensive cholesterol-lowering drugs known as proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors has found unusually complex and burdensome demands across public and private insurance plans in the United States. These findings raise concerns that current policies may create undue barriers to care even in medically appropriate patients, particularly since requirements were just as stringent for patients with a genetic condition that creates more clear-cut eligibility for PCSK9 inhibitor treatment.

The Impact of AIDS Treatment on Savings and Human Capital Investment in Malawi

Feb. 21, 2018

Victoria Baranov and Hans-Peter Kohler

In American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Hans-Peter Kohler and Victoria Baranov study the impact of antiretroviral therapy (ART), a treatment for AIDS, on savings and human capital investment in Malawi. In particular, they use spatial and temporal differences in ART availability to evaluate the impact of ART provision on cash savings, education expenditures, and children’s schooling.

The authors find that ART availability increases savings, expenditures on education, and children’s schooling significantly, even amongst those who are HIV-negative and thus, do not...

Association of Patient Out-of-Pocket Costs With Prescription Abandonment and Delay in Fills of Novel Oral Anticancer Agents

Research Brief
Jan. 19, 2018

High out-of-pocket (OOP) costs may limit access to novel oral cancer medications. In a retrospective study, nearly one third of patients whose OOP costs were $100 to $500 and nearly half of patients whose OOP costs were more than $2,000 failed to pick up their new prescription for an oral cancer medication, compared to 10% of patients who were required to pay less than $10 at the time of purchase. Delays in picking up prescriptions were also more frequent among patients facing higher OOP costs. 

Association of high cost sharing and targeted therapy initiation among elderly Medicare patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma

Dec. 12, 2017

Pengxiang (Alex) Li, Yu-Ning Wong, Jordan Jahnke, Amy R. Pettit, and Jalpa A. Doshi

In Cancer Medicine, Pengxiang (Alex) Li and colleagues, including Jalpa Doshi, explore whether high out-of-pocket costs limit access to oral therapies for Medicare patients newly diagnosed with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Using 2011–2013 Medicare claims, the investigators identified 1,721 patients newly diagnosed with metastases in the liver, lung, or bone. They compared low-income Medicare Part D beneficiaries (who had low out-of-pocket costs due to...

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