Peter B. Bach, Director of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Center for Health Policy and Outcomes, is a physician, epidemiologist, researcher, and respected healthcare policy expert whose work focuses on the cost and value of anticancer drugs. Dr. Bach is leading efforts to increase understanding of the US 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. 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. Dr. Bach has also found 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 increases by $8,500 each year.
In 2012, he and other physicians at MSK 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 by the manufacturer.
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 and the World Economic Forum and is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. He is Vice Chair of the CMS MEDCAC and 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. He also served as a Senior Advisor for Cancer Policy at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2005 and 2006.
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, New York magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, NPR, and 60 Minutes. View a comprehensive list of media coverage of 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 MSK’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics since 1998 and a Senior Scholar at the International Agency for Research on Cancer since 2008.