Measuring the novelty of new drugs

All of us want new, improved medicines. Drugs that provide incremental benefits (often called “me too” drugs) are good, but truly revolutionary therapies are even better. However, how does one separate how “novel” a treatment is? Is there a way to quantify this? In fact there is. One way to do this is based on…

evLYG Explained

One concern when using quality adjusted life years (QALY) to measure health gains for cost effectiveness research is that QALYs “undervalue” health gains from life extension for people with serious illness or chronic disability. To see this clearly, take a look at the QALY formula (first formula below) and how it can be decomposed into…

Rising deaths due to synthetic opioids

National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) examines trends in opioid overdoses in their recent infographic. Unsurprisingly, opioid deaths have risen dramatically in recent years, but may have plateaued in the last 12 months. Opioid deaths are more common among prime working age individuals (age 25-54). NIHCM used data from the Wide-ranging Online Data for…

On which drugs does Medicare spend the most?

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) identifies the Part D drugs on which Medicare spends the most money. This is an important question since CMS will begin drug price negotiation under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) based on the top 10 top spending Part D drugs. Some relevant statistics and figures are below. In 2021, Medicare…

Insurance Obstacles in America

As reported based on a N.Y. Times/KFF survey: A majority of Americans with health insurance said they had encountered obstacles to coverage, including denied medical care, higher bills and a dearth of doctors in their plans… About 40 percent of those surveyed said they had delayed or gone without care in the last year because…

20% of US GDP to be spent on health care

That is the conclusion from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services National Health Expenditure Projections. The paper–published in Health Affairs—summarizes the spending changes as follows: National health expenditures are projected to grow 5.4 percent, on average, over the course of 2022–31 and to account for roughly 20 percent of the economy by the end of that…