Search

New Treatment Guidelines Factor Cost


April 17, 2014 – As prescription drug costs continue to rise, doctors are rewriting their clinical guidelines. Does taking cost into consideration necessarily lead to rationing?


Andrew Pollack, writing in The New York Times, identifies a controversial shift in thinking as doctors begin to weigh the cost of their treatment decisions not just in outcomes, but in dollars. This follows a announcement by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association that they will begin to use cost data to rate the value of treatments in their joint clinical guidelines.


“In practical terms,” Mr. Pollack writes, “New guidelines being developed by the medical groups could result in doctors choosing one drug over another for cost reasons or even deciding that a particular treatment is too expensive.” Indeed, according to the author, “Some critics have said that making treatment decisions based on cost is a form of rationing.”


A 2013 review revealed that 17 of 30 of the largest pysician specialty societies explicitly address cost as part of their clinical guidelines. The cardiology societies, meanwhile, plan to rely on published litereature to rate the value of treatments based on the cost per quality-adjusted life-year, a method used in Britain and by many health economists.


Dr. Paul A. Heidenreich, co-chairman of the committee that wrote the new policy said, “We couldn’t go on just ignoring costs.” According to Mr. Pollack, “The cardiology societies say that the idea that doctors should ignore costs is unrealistic because they already have to consider the financial burden placed on the patient. ‘Protecting patients from financial ruin is fundamental to the precept of do no harm.”

Read the full article here:

“Cost of Treatment May Influence Doctors,” Pollack, Andrew, April 17, 2014

Scripta_Insights_Logo_White.png

40 Grove St, Suite 270 Wellesley, MA 02482

CUSTOMER SUPPORT:

  • LinkedIn - White Circle
  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • YouTube - White Circle

© Copyright 2020 Scripta Insights, Inc. 

Scripta™ is neither a pharmacy nor a doctor. The benefit service does not tell you what drug to take and does not participate in the drug selection process. Only your physician can determine the medications that are right for you. These alternative medications are options for less costly drugs that physicians may prescribe in place of the medications you are taking now. Scripta has reviewed your current medications only for the purpose of identifying potential cost savings for you to consider with your physician. Scripta has not analyzed the effectiveness or other therapeutic aspects of these medication alternatives. Accordingly, this report and any other forms of communication received from Scripta are not, nor should they be interpreted as, any form of treatment, drug regimen review, or provision of counseling or consultation by a prescriber, pharmacist or pharmacy. Do not stop taking your medication, change your medication, or start taking a new medication without being directed to do so by your physician and filling the prescription under the oversight of a licensed pharmacist. The alternatives set forth above may not be equivalent to your current medication, may interact adversely with your other medications, may not be indicated in light of your other conditions, may cause different or severe side effects, or may be less effective at treating your condition. Medication prices are approximate based on information provided by your pharmacy benefits manager, insurance plans, and/or employer, and may vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. Check with your insurance plan to obtain a full list of pharmacies where your prescriptions can be filled. All information herein is HIPAA protected, treated as highly confidential, and never shared with your employer.

Scripta™, Scripta Insights™ and The Best Meds at the Best Price® are registered trademarks of Scripta Insights, Inc. The contents of the site are for informational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We do not recommend or endorse any specific prescription drug or pharmacy that may be mentioned herein. Reliance on any information provided by us, our affiliates, employees or others is solely at your own risk.