Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Experts Question Whether Preventive Drugs Are Value For Money

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[For an overview of Cochrane Reviews, click here]

From the 19 April Medical News Today article

Experts today challenge the view that popular drugs to prevent disease – like statins and antihypertensives to prevent heart disease andstroke, or bisphosphonates to prevent fractures – represent value for money.

In a paper published on bmj.com[full text] today, Teppo Järvinen and colleagues argue that the benefits seen when these drugs are tested in clinical trials may not apply in the real world.

They argue that value for money in real life clinical practice is likely to be much lower than in a clinical trial, where patients are carefully selected and receive special attention from dedicated staff. “This gap between the ideal and clinical circumstances raises the question of how well our most widely used preventive drugs work in real life,” they write. ….

…although there are claims that important preventive drugs such as statins, antihypertensives, and bisphosphonates are cost effective, there are no valid data on the effectiveness, and particularly the cost effectiveness, in usual clinical care,” they say.

Despite this dearth of data, they point out that the majority of clinical guidelines and recommendations for preventive drug therapy rest on these claims.

The authors argue that before claims on cost effectiveness can be used to guide treatment policies and practices, it should be adequately proven by testing in a real-world setting. …

April 20, 2011 - Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , ,

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