Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Drugs: ‘New’ does not always mean ‘better’

Drugs: ‘New’ does not always mean ‘better’

From the 2 March Science Daily article

Cases in which a newly approved drug is more effective than the cheaper alternatives already available are the exceptions rather than the rule.

This is the conclusion reached in a study by Mariam Ujeyl et al. in the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International.

Research into 39 proprietary medicinal products (PMPs) launched on the German market in 2009 and 2010 shows that there were frequently insufficient data available on efficacy when approval was granted. The legal requirements of the licensing procedure have never yet required direct data comparing a new drug to a commercially available drug.

The researchers’ evaluations also show that for around half of approvals the only trials presented compared the new drug with a placebo, not an effective comparator drug.

This can give rise to room for interpretation regarding pricing when new drugs are marketed. The authors do not even rule out the possibility that these more expensive PMPs may actually be inferior to the alternatives already on the market.

March 4, 2012 Posted by | health care | , , | Leave a comment

The Cost of Coercion [Yes, One Can Refuse Medical Procedures and Continue Health Care Insurance Coverage)(via The Health Care Blog)

From The Cost of Coercion (a February 28, 2012 posting at The Health Care Blog)

Dr. John Schumann dispels what seems to be an urban myth – if one refuses a procedure then one is responsible for any hospital charges not covered by one’s health insurance related to the decision to decline the procedure.

The case presented involves a person who did not wish to undergo an invasive (and expensive) medical procedure: cardiac catheterization. The intern told the patient that if she refused to undergo the procedure, “that she would have to sign out ‘against medical advice’ (AMA). To signify this she would have to acknowledge that leaving AMA could result in serious harm or death. In addition, Ms. DiFazio would bear responsibility for any and all hospital charges incurred and not reimbursed by her insurance due to such a decision.”

In the rest of the article, Dr. Schumann explains how he researched this and found quite the opposite – “that the idea of a patient leaving AMA [against medical advice] and having to foot their bill is bunk: nothing more than a medical urban legend.”

March 4, 2012 Posted by | health care | , , , , | Leave a comment


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