The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of grants from the Glaucoma Research Society of Canada (GRSC) in achieving the society's stated goals (i.e., advancing the scientific community's knowledge of the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of glaucoma).
Twenty-seven glaucoma researchers who received grants from the GRSC.
The number of peer-reviewed journal publications that arose from studies funded by the GRSC was obtained through grant recipient surveys, searching for GRSC acknowledgement within the literature, and comparing all articles published by each grant recipient with the subject matter of his or her successful grant proposals.
A total of 73 research grant applications valued at $680,900 were funded by the GRSC between 1997 and 2006, 48 of which (66%) resulted in at least one publication, for a total of 70 articles. This represented a cost of donor dollars per publication of $9727.
Sixty-six percent of GRSC grants generated new knowledge in the form of peer-reviewed publications.
Comment In: Can J Ophthalmol. 2010 Apr;45(2):113-420379291
Home extended hours hemodialysis improves some measurable biological and quality-of-life parameters over conventional renal replacement therapies in patients with end-stage renal disease. Published small studies evaluating costs have shown savings in terms of ongoing operating costs with this modality. However, all estimates need to include the total costs, including infrastructure, patient training, and maintenance; patient attrition by death, transplantation, technique failure; and the necessity of in-center dialysis. We describe a comprehensive funding model for a large centrally administered but locally delivered home hemodialysis program in British Columbia, Canada that covered 122 patients, of which 113 were still in the program at study end. The majority of patients performed home nocturnal hemodialysis in this 2-year retrospective study. All training periods, both in-center and in-home dialysis, medications, hospitalizations, and deaths were captured using our provincial renal database and vital statistics. Comparative data from the provincial database and pricing models were used for costing purposes. The total comprehensive costs per patient-incorporating startup, home, and in-center dialysis; medications; home remodeling; and consumables-was $59,179 for years 2004-2005 and $48,648 for 2005-2006. The home dialysis patients required multiple in-center dialysis runs, significantly contributing to the overall costs. Our study describes a valid, comprehensive funding model delineating reliable cost estimates of starting and maintaining a large home-based hemodialysis program. Consideration of hidden costs is important for administrators and planners to take into account when designing budgets for home hemodialysis.
Traditional approaches to cost-effectiveness analysis have not considered the downstream possibility of a new standard of care coming out of the research and development pipeline. However, the treatment landscape for patients may change significantly over the course of their lifetimes.
To present a Markov modeling framework that incorporates the possibility of treatment evolution into the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) that compares treatments available at the present time.
. Markov model evaluated by matrix algebra. Measurements. The author evaluates the difference between the new and traditional ICER calculations for patients with chronic diseases facing a lifetime of treatment.
The bias of the traditional ICER calculation may be substantial, with further testing revealing that it may be either positive or negative depending on the model parameters. The author also performs probabilistic sensitivity analyses with respect to the possible timing of a new treatment discovery and notes the increase in the magnitude of the bias when the new treatment is likely to appear sooner rather than later. Limitations. The modeling framework is intended as a proof of concept and therefore makes simplifying assumptions such as time stationarity of model parameters and consideration of a single new drug discovery.
For diseases with a more active research and development pipeline, the possibility of a new treatment paradigm may be at least as important to consider in sensitivity analysis as other parameters that are often considered.
To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of switching to biphasic insulin aspart (BIAsp 30) from human premix insulin for type 2 diabetes patients in the United States (US) setting.
The previously published and validated IMS Core Diabetes Model was used to project life expectancy, quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE) and costs over 30 years. Patient characteristics and treatment effects were based on Canadian patients included the IMPROVE observational study (n = 311). Mean glycohaemoglobin (HbA(1c)) was 8.4%, duration of diabetes 16 years and prevalence of complications high at baseline. Simulations were conducted from the perspective of a third-party payer, with costs accounted in 2008 US dollars ($).
BIAsp 30 was projected to improve life expectancy by 0.202 years and QALE by 0.301 quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), due to a reduced incidence of most diabetes-related complications. BIAsp 30 was associated with increased lifetime direct medical costs ($76,517 vs. 67,518) and an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $29,870 per QALY gained. Long-term outcomes were sensitive to the impact of BIAsp 30 on hypoglycaemia and changes in HbA(1c).
BIAsp 30 may represent a cost-effective treatment option in the US setting for advanced type 2 diabetes patients experiencing poor glycaemic control or hypoglycaemia on human premix insulin.
The application of treatment effect data derived from a Canadian cohort to the US setting was a limitation of the cost-effectiveness analysis. The findings of this cost-effectiveness analysis are not applicable to insulin-naÃ¯ve diabetes patients.
This paper examines the issue of prices, relative to value, for cancer drugs. The analysis focuses on the effects on manufacturer pricing incentives of insurance coverage, specifically, the effectiveness of patient cost sharing, incentives created by reimbursement rules for physician-dispensed drugs, and payer ability and incentives to negotiate discounts. For pharmacy-dispensed cancer drugs, both Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) and private payers' pharmacy benefit managers are increasingly placing these drugs on specialty tiers that offer no leverage for negotiating discounts and imply often unaffordable cost sharing for patients who lack catastrophic coverage. Simulation analysis of financial risks faced by PDPs confirms their incentives to place costly drugs on specialty tiers if more preferred formulary placement would increase use, possibly because of adverse selection risk. Faced with largely price-insensitive consumers and payers, manufacturers would rationally charge high prices. This situation is exacerbated for physician-dispensed cancer drugs, where Medicare's average selling price plus 6% reimbursement rule favors high-priced drugs. Because U.S. payers do not require evidence on prices relative to value, U.S. data are unavailable to test whether prices are higher, relative to value, for cancer drugs than for other drugs. Evidence from the Canadian Common Drug Review on cost-utility values suggests that cancer drugs are relatively high priced, although conclusions are tentative because of very small samples and non-U.S. data. Making such outcomes-adjusted prices available in the U.S. would be helpful to physicians, payers, and patients and indirectly constrain pricing to align with value.
The success of Johne's disease (JD) control programs based on risk assessment (RA) depends on producers' compliance with suggested management practices. One objective of this study was to describe the perception of participating Canadian dairy farmers of the impact of JD, the RA process, and suggested management strategies. The second objective was to describe the cost of changes in management practices following the RA. A telephone survey was conducted with 238 dairy farmers in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. The producers agreed to participate in this follow-up study after they had been enrolled in an RA-based voluntary JD control program and had tested their herd with the JD milk ELISA test in 2005 to 2007. The majority of farms had no JD test-positive cows and, although some producers thought they had experienced the economic impact of JD, many did not see JD as a current problem for their herd. The majority of producers enrolled in this program because they were concerned that Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis could be perceived by consumers as a cause for Crohn's disease in humans, which could lead to altered purchasing behavior of milk and milk products. Fifty-two farm-specific recommendations had been made after the initial RA. Although the producers generally liked the program and found the recommendations reasonable and feasible, on average only 2 of 6 suggestions made specifically to them were implemented. The recommendation with the highest compliance was culling of JD test-positive cows. The main reasons for noncompliance were that the dairy producer did not believe a change of management practices was necessary or the available barn setting or space did not allow the change. Producers were generally uncomfortable estimating time and monetary expenses for management changes, but found that several suggested management practices actually saved time and money. In addition, 39% of the producers that implemented at least 1 recommendation thought their calf and herd health had improved subsequently. This indicates that the communication of associated benefits needs to be improved to increase the compliance of producers with recommended management practices.
Recent increases in orthopedic surgical services in Canada have added further demand to an already stretched orthopedic workforce. Various initiatives have been undertaken across Canada to meet this demand. One successful model has been the use of physician assistants (PAs) within the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA). This study documents the effect of PAs working in an arthroplasty practice from the perspective of patients and health care providers. We also describe the costs, time savings for surgeons and the effects on surgical throughput and waiting times.
We calculated time savings by the use of a daily diary kept by the PAs. Surgeons', residents', nurses' and patients' opinions about PAs were recorded by use of a self administered questionnaire. We calculated costs using forgone general practitioner (GP) surgical assist fees and salary costs for PAs. We obtained information about surgical throughput and wait times from the WRHA waitlist database.
In this study, PAs "saved" their supervising physician about 204 hours per year; this time can be used for other clinical, administrative or research duties. Physician assistants are regarded as important members of the health care team by surgeons, nurses, orthopedic residents and patients. When we compared the billing costs with those that would have been generated by the use of GP surgical assists, PAs were essentially cost neutral. Furthermore, they potentially freed GPs from the operating room to spend more time delivering primary care. We found that use of the double operating room model facilitated by PAs increased the surgical throughput of primary hip and knee replacements by 42%, and median wait times decreased from 44 weeks to 30 weeks compared with the preceding year.
Physician assistants integrate well into the care team and can increase surgical volumes to reduce wait times in a cost-effective manner.
Information on detailed treatment costs and the economic burden of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is rare. The current study provides treatment costs and outcomes of patients with metastatic RCC (mRCC), as well as estimates of the future burden from the perspective of Finnish health care. These results offer a baseline against which the impact of emerging treatments may be evaluated.
Information on treatment modalities, survival, and the cost of treatment was retrospectively gathered from mRCC patients (n = 83) receiving first-line interferon-alpha (IFN). Predictions of the number of new cases, premature deaths, and productivity losses were made using local epidemiological data, which were projected to the future using population growth forecasts. The future costs of mRCC treatment and the budget impact of sunitinib were estimated through modeling.
Patients survived 11.9 months (median; 95% CI 9.2-14.7) after initiation of active IFN treatment, accruing an average total treatment cost of 951 euros. Most of the treatment costs were due to hospitalization and active IFN treatment. The aging of the population leads to nearly a 2% increase in the absolute number of new diagnoses annually, while at the same time it results in declining productivity losses. The estimated five-year population cost of IFN-based treatment was 16M euros-26M euros. Adding sunitinib to the first-line treatment protocol increased this cost by 13M eruos-41M euros.
Despite the limited number of patients, metastatic renal cell carcinoma places a considerable economic burden on Finnish society. Treatment costs are likely to increase substantially due to the adoption of new and more expensive medications, the aging population, and enhanced survival times.
Long-term sickness absence among workers is a major problem in industrialised countries. The aim of the review is to determine whether interventions involving the workplace are more effective and cost-effective at helping employees on sick leave return to work than those that do not involve the workplace at all.
A systematic review of controlled intervention studies and economic evaluations. Sixteen electronic databases and grey literature sources were searched, and reference and citation tracking was performed on included publications. A narrative synthesis was performed.
Ten articles were found reporting nine trials from Europe and Canada, and four articles were found evaluating the cost-effectiveness of interventions. The population in eight trials suffered from back pain and related musculoskeletal conditions. Interventions involving employees, health practitioners and employers working together, to implement work modifications for the absentee, were more consistently effective than other interventions. Early intervention was also found to be effective. The majority of trials were of good or moderate quality. Economic evaluations indicated that interventions with a workplace component are likely to be more cost effective than those without.
Stakeholder participation and work modification are more effective and cost effective at returning to work adults with musculoskeletal conditions than other workplace-linked interventions, including exercise.