Pharmaceutical Pricing and Health Outcomes Top Trending News This Week from HealthEconomics.Com

Preventive medicine may not be the panacea to reducing healthcare costs.

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There is a paucity of evidence to support that screening interventions conclusively have patient benefits, even in the face of increasing funding for these activities by employers and the government.

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida (PRWEB) April 25, 2013

This week’s top news story on HealthEconomics.Com related to yet another rejection by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for Roche’s Avastin (bevacizumab) for advanced ovarian cancer. NICE is the agency tasked with appraising cost-effectiveness of medicines for use in the National Health Service for England and Wales. Issuing its second draft guidance in a month, NICE turned down Avastin for use in combination with gemcitabine and carboplatin in patients with recurrent cancer that has spread outside the ovaries following initial treatment. Only a few weeks prior, NICE rejected Avastin for use in combination therapy with paclitaxel and carboplatin for patients with metastatic ovarian cancer. This most recent rejection occurred according to NICE because Roche failed to provide trial data on approximately one-third of clinical trial participants. If these lack of data were due to drug discontinuation, side effects, or lost to follow-up, then NICE suggested it was difficult to ascertain the effect of Avastin on progression-free survival rates, as well as whether it could in fact help individuals live longer. Without these critical data elements, the cost-effectiveness of the £25,000 per single course of treatment could not adequately be evaluated. Original story published by PMLive.Com.

The second most read story, derived from the HealthEconomics.Com blog: tHEORetically Speaking, features guest blogger Nick Emptage. In a story titled: “The Problem with Preventative Medicine,” Emptage challenges whether preventive medicine could truly solve health care's cost crisis. There is a paucity of evidence to support that screening interventions conclusively have patient benefits, even in the face of increasing funding for these activities by employers and the government. Emptage evaluates the high costs associated with preventative screening in order to detect a small number of events, as well as the effect of patients living longer on total health care costs. While not discouraging preventive care, Emptage accurately points out that a more accurate value assessment is clearly needed before wide-scale government subsidies are implemented.

Another popular news item on HealthEconomics.Com described a new open-access patient registry by PatientCrossRoads, a for-profit organization that helps disease organizations become Registry Partners to better enable disease data collection on rare and common diseases. The story, originally in the Rare Disease Report, featured a video interview with CEO Kyle Brown.

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