By Robert W. Dubois, MD, PhD, Chief Science Officer, National Pharmaceutical Council

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services projects that health care spending in the United States will reach almost 20% of the Gross Domestic Product by 2025. Their projection has sparked considerable debate about how much we should we spending on health as well as on how we should be spending those health care dollars.

To address this important issue and begin a broader dialogue on health care spending in the United States, the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) has launched a request for research proposals. We are interested in funding research that considers how we, as a society, think about two important policy questions: 1) how much should the US spend on health care; and 2) how should health care spending be allocated across the various sectors of the health care system (i.e., biopharmaceuticals, hospitals, providers, procedures, devices, long-term care facilities, etc.)?

Currently, most of the public policy debate is focused on the sector level and how we can prune high-cost services and low-value care from the system to slow rising costs. While this is an important part of the broader dialogue, that debate often ignores the impact spending in one sector has on reducing or lowering costs in another sector or the impact on health outcomes at a disease or population level.

In launching this request for research proposals, we hope to take a more holistic view of today’s health spending challenges. We are particularly interested in research concepts that focus on societal willingness-to-pay for health care services; how health care spending can be optimally allocated across various sectors and segmentations within the health care system; and the ethical and economic considerations related to evaluating health care spending.

The RFP is open through July 28, 5:00 pm (EDT). The full RFP, including guidelines for submission and NPC’s proposal template can be found on NPC’s website. Through this public request for new research, NPC will continue to advance good evidence and science to foster a health care policy environment that supports medical innovation.  


The opinions expressed in this blog post are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of AcademyHealth.

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