Specialty medicines, many of which are products of biotechnology advances, can provide novel and potentially life-changing treatment options for a growing number of serious conditions, including cancers and inflammatory diseases. At the same time, the increasingly high costs of specialty medicines represent an enormous economic burden on patients and society. Allocating scarce resources to specialty medicines involves many difficult ethical and economic decisions for both families and payers. Tackling these challenges in different health system contexts and from different perspectives requires a new program of multi-disciplinary, multi-method research.
The Specialty Medicines Research Program seeks to generate evidence to support decision making by different stakeholders in health systems in the US and globally on providing access to, financing, and managing specialty medicines. DPRG faculty conducting research in this area include Drs. Christine Lu, Dennis Ross-Degnan, and Anita Wagner.
Research activities focus on:
Market entry and pricing of specialty medicines
Strategies for providing access to specialty medicines
Affordability of specialty medicines (to health systems; to households)
Appropriate and inappropriate use of specialty medicines
Impacts of approaches to manage access and use
Comparative effectiveness and safety of specialty medicines
Value of specialty medicines
Ethical dimensions of decision making around specialty medicines
Value, use, and impacts of biosimilars
- Lu CY, Lupton C, Rakowsky S, Ross-Degnan D, Wagner AK. Patient Access Schemes in Asia-Pacific Markets: Current Experience and Future Potential. J Pharm Policy Pract. 2015;8(1):6. PMID: 25815200; PMCID: PMC4359387.
- Sruamsiri R, Wagner AK, Ross-Degnan D, Lu CY, Chaiyakunapruk N. Policies and programs to facilitate access to targeted cancer therapies in Thailand. PLoS One 2015; 10(3):e0119945. PMID: 25798948 PMCID: PMC4370712.
- Sruamsiri R, Wagner AK, Ross-Degnan D, Lu CY, Dhippayom T, Ngorsuraches S, Chaiyakunapruk N. Expanding access to high-cost medicines through the E2 access program in Thailand: effects on utilisation, health outcomes and cost using an interrupted time-series analysis. BMJ Open 2016;6(3):e008671. PMID: 26988346 PMCID: PMC4800146.
- Lu CY, March L, Sansom L, Bertouch J, Williams K, Day R. Access to high cost drugs in Australia: Risk sharing scheme may set a new paradigm. BMJ 2004;329(7463):415-416. PMID: 15321884 PMCID: PMC514195.
- Hall W, Ward R, Liauw W, Brien J, Lu CY. Tailoring access to high cost, genetically targeted drugs. Med J Aust 2005;182(12):607-608. PMID: 15963014.
- Lu CY, Williams K, Day R. Access to tumor necrosis factor inhibitors for Rheumatoid Arthritis treatment under the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Are we on target? Intern Med J 2006;36(1):19-27. PMID: 16409309.
- Lu CY, Ritchie J, Williams K, Day R. The views of stakeholders on controlled access schemes for high-cost antirheumatic biological medicines in Australia. Aus NZ Health Policy 2007; 4:26. PMID: 18096055; PMCID: PMC2231358.
- Lu CY, Williams K, Day R. The funding and use of high-cost medicines in Australia: the example of anti-rheumatic biological medicines. Aus NZ Health Policy 2007; 4:2. PMID: 17331230 PMCID: PMC1828161.
- Lu CY, Williams K, Day R. Has the use of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs changed as a consequence of controlled access to high-cost biological agents through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme? Intern Med J 2007;37(9):601-606. PMID: 17542999.
- Lu CY, Macneill P, Williams K, Day R. Access to high cost medicines in Australia: ethical perspectives. Aus NZ Health Policy 2008; 5:4. PMID: 18489760 PMCID: PMC2412887.
- Lu CY, Srasbuekul P, Drew A, Ward R, Pearson SA. Positive spillover effects of prescribing requirements: increased cardiac testing in patients treated with Trastuzumab for HER2+ metastatic breast cancer. Int Med J 2012; 42(11):1229-35. PMID: 21981464.
- Lu CY, Srasbuekul P, Drew AK, Chen K, Ward RL, Pearson SA. Trastuzumab therapy in Australia: which patients with HER2+ metastatic breast cancer are assessed for cardiac function? The Breast 2013;22(4):482-7. PMID: 23664254.