Cost vs. Benefit Decisions
"I think we are due for a collision between the economics of how do we save money versus what we've been doing, which is the best possible therapy for the patient.
"Our field continues to improve. There are exciting developments. There's improvements in things that are already pretty good, and making them even better. We still see new drugs. We still see coformulation.
We also know that there are already, and still to come, generics of the existing drugs -- which have been really good, but not as good, based on the studies we see.
"So I think the really interesting question will be, do we, as clinicians, get to do what we're trained to do, which is to provide the best possible regimen, regardless of what it costs? Or are we forced to do just OK because a payer says, 'We're not paying for the best'?"
-- Calvin Cohen, M.D., M.S., Director of Research, Community Research Initiative of New England, Boston.