Comparative Effectiveness. Compare and Contrast.

  • by: |
  • 05/16/2007
Effective for patients or effective for budgeteers?

When pols and pundits say that we need a system of comparative effectiveness measures "like the UK," it's important to understand what that means. Consider the following ...

An international study of patient access to cancer drugs has found that the UK is in the lowest category of 25 countries, which were measured on the uptake of 67 treatments. The study, by the Karolinska Institute and the Stockholm School of Economics, found that the overall performance was best in Austria, France, Switzerland and the USA.

The researchers noted that the biggest variations across the different national markets in the study were for bowel and lung cancer groups. In both cases, the UK ranked with Poland among the worst countries for patient access to drugs.

This is a system we want to adopt? When Representative Emerson, for example, points to saving "billions, maybe trillions, of dollars" what she means (whether or not she understands it) is that those savings come from denying care.

Yes -- even for cancer patients.

The Karolinska Institute and Stockholm School of Economics study was published in the Annals of Oncology.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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