Peter Bach, MD, MAPP

Director, Center for Health Policy and Outcomes
Pictured: Peter Bach
Office Phone:
Harvard University; University of Minnesota; University of Chicago

The Director of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Center for Health Policy and Outcomes, Dr. Bach is a physician, epidemiologist, researcher and respected healthcare policy expert whose work focuses on the cost and value of anti-cancer drugs. Dr. Bach is leading efforts to increase understanding of the U.S. drug development process and develop new models for drug pricing that include value to patients as a critical component. As the cost of specialty drugs continues to grow, he argues that prices are no longer rational, and a better pricing system could increase patient access to life-saving medications at lower costs while spurring innovation.

Dr. Bach’s research has found that the cost of newly approved cancer drugs has skyrocketed since the 1970s, despite a rapidly increasing number of options.  The price for more than 30 newly approved cancer drugs grew to $10,000 a month or more from 2010 to 2014 without any clear economic justification for the pricing, that there has been a nearly 100-fold increase in cancer drug prices since 1965 after adjusting for inflation, and that the cost of an additional year of life from a cancer treatment goes up by $8,500 per year.

In 2012, he and other physicians at Memorial Sloan Kettering drew attention to the high price of a newly approved cancer drug and announced the hospital’s unprecedented move not to offer it to patients because of its high price tag with no notable improved clinical outcomes. The drug price was later cut in half.

Dr. Bach’s work in lung cancer screening has led to the development of several lung cancer screening guidelines and one of the first ever risk prediction models for this disease. He has also proposed a number of strategies for Medicare to link payment to the value of healthcare services delivered. 

Dr. Bach has been inducted into the American Society of Clinical Investigators and the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars. He serves on the Board of Advisors of the University of Michigan Cancer Center; on the World Economic Forum and is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative.  He is Vice-Chair of the CMS MEDCAC, is a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Board on Health Care Services and the Committee on Performance Measurement of the National Committee on Quality Assurance.  He served as the Chair of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Technical Expert Panel that developed quality measures for cancer hospitals. Dr. Bach has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and editorials in scientific journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association.  He has also written numerous healthcare-related op-eds and been featured in mainstream media outlets such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and 60 Minutes. View a comprehensive list of media coverage received by Dr. Bach and his work.

Dr. Bach completed his undergraduate studies at Harvard University and his medical studies at the University of Minnesota and the University of Chicago Harris School. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins University followed by a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins. While at the University of Chicago, he was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar. Dr. Bach has been a faculty member in Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics since 1998 and a Senior Scholar at the International Agency for Research on Cancer since 2008. He also served as a Senior Advisor for Cancer Policy at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2005 and 2006.

Publications by Peter Bach

Bach PB, Mirkin JN, Oliver TK, Azzoli CG, Berry DA, Brawley OW, Byers T, Colditz GA, Gould MK, Jett JR, Sabichi AL, Smith-Bindman R, Wood DE, Qaseem A, Detterbeck FC. Benefits and harms of CT screening for lung cancer: a systematic review. JAMA. 2012 Jun 13;307(22):2418-29.

Bach PB, Pham HH, Schrag D, Tate RC, Hargraves JL.  Primary care physicians who treat blacks and whites.  N Engl J Med 2004; 351: 575-84. [Accompanied by editorial]

Bach PB. Limits on Medicare's Ability to Control Rising Spending on Cancer Drugs. N Engl J Med. 2009; 360: 626-33.

Bach PB. A map to bad policy—hospital efficiency measures in the Dartmouth Atlas. N Engl J Med. 2010;362(7):569-73.

Bach PB, Mirkin JN, Luke JJ. Episode-based payment for cancer care: a proposed pilot for Medicare. Health Aff (Millwood). 2011 Mar;30(3):500-9.

Bach PB.  Cost sharing for health care – whose skin?  which game?  N Engl J Med 2008; 358: 411-3.