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November 9, 1994

Pharmacoeconomics: Is a Drug Worth Its Cost?

JAMA. 1994;272(18):1395. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520180019008

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THE PRICE is right, the cost is reasonable, but in tomorrow's medical practice what will count is the effectiveness of the intervention in relation to the cost of providing it. A whole new science is springing up that is engaged in developing appropriate standards and ways to evaluate such efficacy from a drug or medical service, say those in this emerging field of pharmacoeconomics.

"You can bet your boots that in the next 4 or 5 years this is going to be a major issue because it has to do with health reform and cost control efforts," says Clyde Thornsberry, PhD, of the Microbiology Reference Library, Franklin, Tenn. Thornsberry spoke at the 34th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, held in Orlando, Fla. At future meetings the group plans to hold more sessions on cost-effectiveness studies.

`Where the Money Is'  At the moment, the effort is limited largely to

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