As Health Care Technology Advances, Costs Increase
Whether it is new medical devices or cancer treatments, the new approaches seem to cost more than the older ones.
The Fiscal Times: Soaring Health Costs Pinned On Medical Devices
The device industry has launched an aggressive campaign to avoid tighter Food and Drug Administration rules that would help generate the information needed to show whether newer devices are actually superior to the ones they replace. The latest devices from heart valves and defibrillators to artificial knees and hips are usually significantly more expensive than older devices, and the intense marketing surrounding the introduction of new devices has become a major driver of rising health care costs (Goozner, 6/7).
NPR's Shots blog: As Cancer Treatments Advance, So Do Costs
More and more often the medicines being developed to treat cancer act narrowly - on very specific types of cancer linked to specific genetic mutations. The drugs tend to be of most help to a relatively small group of patients, and that combination means prices for the treatments can be very high. So it seems fitting that the steep cost of cancer care is also getting a look at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference. And some of the findings are pretty sobering (Hensley, 6/6).
ProPublica: Body Imaging Business Pushes Scans Many Don't Need - Including Me
The telemarketer called in February with an unusual offer: free heart scans for me and my wife, an $800 value, from a company called Heart Check America. ... After 45 minutes, Tom got down to business. He pulled out a price sheet and urged us to go beyond the free scans and upgrade to a 10-year contract for annual imaging services, including heart, lung, bone-density and other scans. ... Scans can result in false positives, leading to unnecessary treatments that are invasive and risky, said Dr. Gilbert Welch, a Dartmouth Medical School professor who studies the problems created by attempts at early disease detection (Allen, 6/7).
Meanwhile, the Washington-based industry group AdvaMed offers some ideas on how to maintain med-tech's position as a driver of economic growth.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Med-Tech Looks For Its RX
To hear industry leaders express it, medical technology is one of the few bright spots in the languishing U.S. economy. But there's an undercurrent of worry about the industry's future. On Monday, the Washington-based industry group AdvaMed released a series of recommendations including trade, tax, payment, regulatory and research policies that aim to preserve med-tech's position as an engine of U.S. economic growth (6/6).
Modern Healthcare: AdvaMed Urges Office On Medical Innovation
The Advanced Medical Technology Association said it plans to advocate for the creation of a medical innovation policy office in the White House, according to the trade group's new competitiveness agenda (PDF). The agenda also addresses five other issue areas, including the FDA approval process, which AdvaMed had criticized for its unpredictability; payment policy; trade policy; tax policies, such as the R&D tax credit; and increased support for R&D infrastructure in the U.S (Lee, 6/6).