Medicare Analytica.

With better outcomes among indolent cancers, it’s becoming less feasible to conduct large enough studies with long enough follow-up to detect meaningful survival differences. The solution to this may lie in data transfer. The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT), conducted in the 90’s, provocatively demonstrated that primary prevention with finasteride reduces the incidence of prostate cancer by 25%. By using “passive” follow-up via linking Medicare claims to PCPT participants (but not their friends), authors of a new report were able to more than double the median follow-up time of the study to a whopping 16 years. They report the initial benefit held steady (i.e., didn’t increase or decrease), even after patients went off study. TBL(s): Limited duration finasteride results in a sustained reduction in the risk of prostate cancer. More broadly speaking, using secondary claims data may be an efficient way of investigating long-term survival outcomes. | Unger, J Natl Cancer Inst 2018

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