HPI News Archive: 2020

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HPI members Alessandra FerrarioFang ZhangDennis Ross-DegnanJ. Frank Wharam, and Anita Wagner published a study on the intensity of end-of-life care in commercially insured women with metastatic breast cancer in JCO Oncology Practice. Consistent with findings in the Medicare population, their results suggest an overall increase in the number of ICU admissions at the end of life over time. They also suggest that patients from non-White neighborhoods receive more intense acute care.

Natasha Stout was an invited speaker at Future of Cancer Health Economics Research Virtual Conference. National Cancer Institute and presented “Cancer Screening/Diagnosis Economics Research: Current Challenges and Next Steps”.


Former Health Policy and Insurance Research (HPI) fellow Rosarin Sruamsiri, current HPI fellow Alessandra Ferrario, and faculty members Dennis Ross-Degnan and Anita Wagner, and colleagues published a tool to estimate volume and cost to provide chemotherapy to all children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in Thailand in the BMJ Open. They found that procuring sufficient quantities of essential medicines to treat children with ALL requires relatively modest resources. Medicine cost should not be a major barrier to ALL treatment in similar settings.

In a new publication in the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, former Health Policy and Insurance Research (HPI) fellows Christine Leopold and Rebecca Haffajee and faculty members Christine Lu and Anita Wagner use Massachusetts as a case study to describe current health insurance coverage laws for cancer therapies and perceptions of experts on their relevance. Maximilian Salcher Konrad and Huseyin Naci (also a former HPI fellow) from the London School of Economics wrote an accompanying commentary.  Eloquently and importantly, they put the findings on coverage regulations in Massachusetts into the broader US regulatory context and suggest alternative approaches to cancer drug coverage modeled after the German system.


Department of Population Medicine members’ Alessandra FerrarioDennis Ross-Degnan and Anita Wagner, together with long-term collaborators Peter Stephens from IQVIA, UK and Xiaodong Guan from Peking University, China, have published their latest research article in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. In this study, the authors analyze progress in expanding use of essential anticancer medicines in six Asian countries working toward universal health care coverage. They also highlight the underused potential of routinely collected data to monitor changes in use of medicines as well as informing policy and practice.


Alessandra Ferrario presented at the Swiss National Science Foundation virtual fellows conference (June 29 – July 2, 2020) on ‘Access to cancer care services and technologies: too much or too little?’.

Anita Wagner presented a talked entitled " Pharmaceuticals in a time of crisis and beyond: A call for sound evidence and solidarity" at the 15th World Congress of Bioethics, which took place virtually June 19-21, 2020.


On March 9th at the Department of Population at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Assistant Professor Natasha Stout virtually gave the Philip Farrell Distinguished Alumni Lecture entitled "Using Population Modeling to Fill Evidence Gaps in Breast Cancer Prevention and Control: Insights from Two Collaborations."


Starting this academic year, Laura Garabedian serves as Co-Director of Essentials of the Profession I, a required first-year Harvard Medical School course that covers four disciplines: health policy, medical ethics, social medicine, and clinical epidemiology and population health.

HPI Fellow Alessandra Ferrario presented "Estimating needs, availability and cost of medicines to treat pediatric in six Asian countries" at the University of Utrecht- World Health Organization (UU-WHO) winter meeting on January 8th. 

Faculty Member Hao Yu presented "Health care financing and delivery reforms and children with special health care needs" at Center for Healthcare Research in Pediatrics on January 14th 2020 at the Department of Population Medicine in Boston, MA.