The mean versus the gene: will national healthcare systems ever adopt personalised medicine?

By John F P Bridges While outcomes for any given treatment differ significantly among patients, national healthcare systems continue to take a top down population perspective in reviewing not only epidemiologic data but to evaluating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of new medicines. This top down approach, coupled with a growing need for cost containment, has…

www.PatientsLikeMe.com – The power of patient-provided information

By Julie Stauffer ([email protected]) Pharmaceutical companies depend on data – and lots of it – to develop drugs and measure their effectiveness. And many patients are eager to supply that information if it might mean better treatments or better quality of life. That’s the premise of PatientsLikeMe.com. Launched in 2006, it connects patients to other…

In-store health clinics: a new approach to primary care?

By David Woods ([email protected]) Health clinics based in retail outlets, particularly drug stores, are changing the way primary care is delivered. Their proponents cite access, convenience, and price transparency as the major reasons for their popularity and growth. Further fueling this concept is the growing shortage of primary care doctors. Staffed mainly by nurse practitioners,…

The “other drug costs” – Part 1: non-adherence

By Mary Gabb ([email protected]) The term “adherence” (or sometimes “compliance”) – the extent to which patients take their treatment as prescribed – has been understood to be a nagging clinical issue, but is now seen as a major cost driver in many therapeutic areas. A recent report from the National Council on Patient Information and…

Sorting out the varying standards for pharmacoeconomic guidelines

By Kevin Frick ([email protected]) As we provide and interpret pharmacoeconomic (PE) evaluation results for decision makers in different settings around the world, we should consider the standards being followed. And there are several of these: the ISPOR website presents a summary of international standards , grouping them into two broad categories: “PE guidelines” and “submission…

Presenteeism and the impact of appropriate pharmaceutical treatment on workplace costs

By David Woods ([email protected]) Question: “How many people work in the public sector?” Answer: “About half of them.” It’s an old one, to be sure, but it has its echo in the fairly recently-coined word “presenteeism.” While absenteeism means not being at work at all; presenteeism means being at work, but not working; or at…

ISPOR’s 12th annual international meeting

By David Woods ([email protected]) The theme of this year’s international ISPOR meeting – held on May 20–23 in Arlington, Virginia, USA – was “new tools, new audiences for health outcomes research.” In his valedictory address, retiring ISPOR president Dr Michael Drummond told some of the 1600 registrants to the meeting that the organisation now has…

Industry commentary – Predictors of productivity

By Clare Gurton ([email protected]) There is increasing pressure to describe the benefits of new treatments in terms of increased productivity in the work-place, and many clinical studies are now attempting to include some measurement of improved productivity as a secondary endpoint. Whilst many trials have indeed shown that effective medical intervention can decrease illness-associated loss…