A dangerous plan for rationing essential prescription drugs

The midterms are over and it’s time to get back to discussing issues that impact Americans on a daily basis. Things like health care and, specifically how to reduce costs.

President Trump has made lowering the cost of prescription drugs one of his priorities.

It seems to be a bipartisan cause, and all ideas should be on the table. Except one: rationing care to the sickest and oldest patients.

Yet this dystopian scenario is exactly what a Boston-based organization called theInstitute for Clinical and Economic Review is recommending as a way to reduce health care costs.

ICER uses a cost-benefit analyses to determine whether patients should have access to medications their doctors prescribe. These are often life-saving and life-extending drugs. The framework they use is called quality of life-adjusted year (QALY).

QALY is a complicated economic model that attempts to determine the extent to which a given medical treatment extends and improves lifespans. In other words, it determines whether a patient is worth covering after a certain price threshold.

Continue reading at BostonGlobe.com.

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