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What We're Reading: Cancer Clinical Trials; Affordable Housing From CVS; Drug Developed via Artificial Intelligence


Cancer drug trials often do not report on cardiovascular outcomes; CVS is investing in affordable housing to reduce overall healthcare costs; a drug for obsessive compulsive disorder that was developed through artificial intelligence will soon be tested in humans.

CVD Data Are Often Missing From Cancer Trials

CVS Is Addressing Social Determinants of Health Through Affordable Housing

An upcoming issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology contains study results showing how almost 40% of cancer clinical trials do not contain data on cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, according to MedPage Today. The study authors expressed concern, because a main goal of cancer treatment is to limit CVD as an adverse effect, also finding discrepancies in how CVD is defined among trials and calling for “more objective thresholds of CVD identification.” They suggest more optimized cancer trials that make a point to include patients with CVD risk factors.CVS Health will invest $75 million in affordable housing in 2020, reports Forbes, which is close to 12% more than its $67-million investment in 2019. The move is meant to address upfront social determinants of health, such as food insecurity and homelessness, that drive up patient costs. UnitedHealth Group and Anthem are doing the same. Down the line, insurers could see reduced costs through avoided hospital stays and averted health crises. Since 1997, CVS and Aetna—its health insurance unit and partner since 2018—have invested over $1 billion in this space, for more than 93,000 affordable rental units.

Human Trials Will Soon Test an AI-Developed Drug for OCD

Individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have a potential new treatment, with the recent start of a phase 1 clinical trial of an artificial intelligence (AI)-developed medicine, says European Pharmaceutical Review. Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma in Japan and Exscienta in the United Kingdom jointly developed the long-acting, potent serotonin 5-HT1A receptor agonist in less than 12 months via AI—compared with the typical 5 years through conventional means. AI has been used before, to positive results, with a recent study in Nature showing its success in diagnosing breast cancer compared with physicians.

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