Category Archives: Health

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ICYMI: Gov. Tom Ridge, Tara O’Toole on Investing in Bioscience to Protect Against Bioterror

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Writing in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last week, Governor Tom Ridge and Tara O’Toole remind us that dangerous diseases are emerging more and more frequently, and that investment in bioscience is critical to fight these drug-resistant infections. When we cannot or fail to halt this spread, they create epidemics. This summer, the world is struggling to contain the spread of the Zika virus. Last fall, it was Ebola. Before that, it was MERS, SARS, avian flu. Read More >

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ICER’s Methodology Needs to Take Into Account Key Stakeholder Voices

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Last week, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) released the scoping document for their pending review of therapies that treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).[1] The scoping document itself lays out the importance of these therapies given the realities of this deadly disease:[2] Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S.[3] It is predicted to kill 158,000 Americans this year.[4] NSCLC makes up about 85 percent of lung cancers,[5] Read More >

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Stop Demeaning the Healthy Dialogue Between Doctors and Drug Companies

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A recent report in The Wall Street Journal entitled, “Even Cheap Meals Influence Doctors’ Drug Prescriptions, Study Suggests,” attempts to suggest an untoward influence resulting from drug company-sponsored physician education events. After reading the full study, it is clear that the WSJ author not only misinterpreted the conclusions of the study, but completely discounts the role that companies have in educating physicians about their products. Contrary to the author’s point, communication between drug companies and Read More >

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PwC Report Finds Medicines Still Small Share of Overall Health Spending

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A new report from PwC’s Health Research Institute, Medical Cost Trend: Behind the Numbers 2017, offers evidence that medicines continue to represent a small portion of overall healthcare spending. The report highlighted that half of all medical costs come from hospital spending: 30 percent from hospital inpatient and 19 percent from hospital outpatient. Physicians account for another 30 percent, while prescription drugs account for 17 percent. With this breakdown comes the warning that it is Read More >

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BIO Urges States to Use CMS Grants to Combat Discrimination by Health Plans

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On June 15, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced $22 million in Affordable Care Act (ACA) funding for state insurance departments.  The Agency’s announcement noted that States are meant to utilize the funding to ensure that plans comply with “key consumer protections,” listing among them: essential health benefits, preventive services, parity in mental health and substance use disorder benefits, appeals processes, and bringing down the cost of health care coverage (also known Read More >

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