Dr. Jerry Avorn
Americans spend more than $300 billion a year on prescription drugs. How we use these drugs, and how effective they are, have become important subjects for public health researchers. A leader in this area is Dr. Jerry Avorn, chief of the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Avorn is the author of numerous articles and the book Powerful Medicines.
For an article in the Harvard Health Letter, editor Peter Wehrwein spoke with Avorn about generic drugs, the pharmaceutical industry, the high cost of cancer drugs, and more. Here’s an excerpt from their conversation; you can read the complete interview at www.health.harvard.edu. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Harvard Health Blog*
Generic medications appear to be far more cost-effective than previously reported, concluded a team of Harvard professors. But, physicians and patients aren’t adopting them wholeheartedly.
Patents of 20 drugs with annual sales of more than $1 billion expired or will do so between 2010 and 2013, including Lipitor and Plavix, the highest- and second-highest revenue producing drugs in the U.S. While highly effective generics provide low-cost options for chronic disease management, they are not always factored into cost analyses, and are sometimes viewed with concerns about their safety and efficacy.
The Harvard team revisited a 2008 study that used brand-name medication costs in an analysis of the cost-effectiveness of strategies to prevent adverse outcomes associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The study found that up to 244 million quality-adjusted life-years could be gained over 30 years with appropriate preventive care. But, the study authors wrote, that “most prevention activities are expensive when considering direct medical costs.”
The Harvard team recalculated figures from the 2008 research, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*
If you live in New Hampshire, or some other state that is withdrawing Planned Parenthood funding, you may need to find an alternate source of affordable birth control, at least until the states get their heads screwed back on straight. In the meantime, please, don’t stop your birth control because you think you can’t afford it - the costs of not using it are much, much higher.
But what can you do to make the choice to use birth control even more cost effective?
Birth Control Pills
- Buy them cheap locally. Walmart, Target and Kroger sell very low priced birth control pills – only $4 to $9 a pack. It’s only a few brands (Trinessa, Sprintec and Trisprintec), but ask your doctor if it makes sense to switch if cost is a barrier for you.
*This blog post was originally published at The Blog That Ate Manhattan*
The [recent] massive recall of some of the most popular [children's] medications is unsettling, disturbing and concerning. Thankfully it was done as a precautionary move before any child was harmed and that there’s a sufficient supply of generic alternatives of the medications recalled.
Still, having 40 popular medications recalled by one of today’s most trusted pharmaceutical manufacturers rocks our confidence in the safeguards in place at the core. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Gwenn Is In*