By: Rebecca Cerio
Our weekly linkpost, bringing you interesting and informative links on science policy issues buzzing about the internet.
Dangers of Disclosure – The PLoS Medicine Editors suggest that disclosing conflicts of interest does nothing to address the problem of biased advice…and may make it worse. The original article can be read in its entirety in PLoS Medicine. (by Ruth Williams via The Scientist)
Large-Scale Analysis Finds Majority of Clinical Trials Don’t Provide Meaningful Evidence – The main problem with gaining “meaningfulness”? The lack of standardization between trials. This is a huge, costly problem that will require a lot of restructuring of the research climate and culture to fix. (Duke University Medical Center via Medical Daily)
New Database Gives Hard Numbers on Health Care Cost – Sarah Kliff’s blog post on the Washington Post website highlights the usefulness of a new database available through the Health Care Cost Institute. “…health insurance data is crucial to understand how health care dollars get spent…. Health insurers, however, have tended to keep that data private, as it could tip competitors off to how they handle business. That all, however, changes today. This morning a new nonprofit called the Health Care Cost Institute will roll out a database of 5 billion health insurance claims (all stripped of the individual health plan’s identity, to address privacy concerns).” This database could provide hard evidence to hard questions about why health care costs are increasing so rapidly. Are costs the culprit, or is it simply usage going up? The HCCI’s own economists have already crunched some numbers from 2010 and found increased prices have driven health care costs.
Have an interesting science policy link to share? Let us know in the comments!