House passes ban on use of QALYs in federal health programs
The House of Representatives on Wednesday cleared a bill that would ban federal health programs from using quality-adjusted life years — a measurement of how well a drug can extend a person’s life — to determine a product’s value.
Quality-adjusted life years, or QALYs, are commonly used to compare effectiveness across different drugs, but the Affordable Care Act banned Medicare from using them, and opponents have argued that they can be discriminatory against people with disabilities because they put a price on quality of life. On the other hand, some experts have warned that banning the use of QALYs is misguided and will only serve to inhibit comparative effectiveness research, leading to higher drug prices.
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