Peter Bach

Peter B. Bach is a physician, epidemiologist, and writer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where he is Director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes.[1] His research focuses on healthcare policy, particularly as it relates to Medicare, racial disparities in cancer care quality, and lung cancer. Along with his scientific writings he is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and other newspapers.

Peter B. Bach
A headshot of Bach
Born1964 (age 55–56)
EducationHarvard University
University of Minnesota
University of Chicago
Medical career
ProfessionPhysician, Health Policy Analyst, Writer
InstitutionsMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
ResearchHealthcare Policy, Epidemiology

Career and educationEdit

Bach chronicled his wife Ruth’s treatment for early breast cancer in a series of articles for the New York Times, and then wrote about her death from the disease in a piece for New York Magazine.[2] Bach discussed the article on Leonard Lopate's show on WNYC.[3]

In 2012, Bach, who is a frequent critic of pharmaceutical pricing in cancer, co-authored an opinion piece in the New York Times outlining Memorial Sloan Kettering’s decision not to offer a new cancer drug, Zaltrap, to its patients due to the drug's price.[4] At the time, the price for Zaltrap was more than twice as high than another cancer drug already being used by the hospital to treat colorectal cancer with similar efficacy. The New York Times piece by Bach was discussed in a 60 Minutes segment highlighting the rising cost of cancer drugs.[5] Bach was seen as influential in the eventual lowering of Zaltrap's price by the manufacturer Sanofi.[6]

In 2015, Bach released DrugAbacus, billed as an interactive tool that users can apply to model prices for cancer drugs based on a number of factors, including clinical efficacy, safety and toxicity, the value placed on a year of life, and the value of innovation. The tool then allows users to compare the generated values with existing drug prices. Additionally, Bach co-authored a paper published in the American Medical Association in which he described possible value-based drug pricing approaches in the United States.[7][third-party source needed]

Bach has also worked on areas related to racial disparities within the provision of cancer care. Along with research collaborators, he has published evidence that black Medicare beneficiaries with lung cancer do not receive as high quality care as white patients.[8][9][10] A paper in 2007 demonstrated that care in Medicare is highly fragmented, with the average beneficiary seeing multiple primary care physicians and specialists.[11] He has worked on developing lung cancer screening guidelines also developed a lung cancer risk prediction model.[12][13][14][15] He has proposed a number of strategies by which Medicare could link payment level to the value of healthcare delivered.[16][17]

His lay press contributions have included op-eds on topics such as medical school tuition funding,[18] setting physician reimbursement based on market forces,[19] and why cancer screening recommendations are often not followed.[20]

Bach earned a bachelor's degree in English and American Literature from Harvard University (1986), a MD from the University of Minnesota (1992) and a Masters of Arts in Public Policy (1997) from the University of Chicago. He obtained his internal medicine training at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and completed a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Other positionsEdit


  1. ^ Center for Health Policy and Outcomes Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 2012. (Accessed 11/9/2012)
  2. ^ Bach, Peter (May 6, 2014). "The Day I Started Lying to Ruth". New York Magazine.
  3. ^ "A Cancer Doctor on Losing His Wife to Cancer". Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC. May 7, 2014.
  4. ^ Peter B. Bach, "In Cancer Care, Cost Matters", The New York Times, 10/14/2012 (accessed 11/30/2012)
  5. ^ Stahl, Lesley (October 5, 2014). "The cost of cancer drugs". 60 Minutes.
  6. ^ Andrew Pollack, "Sanofi Halves Price of Cancer Drug After Sloan-Kettering Rejection", The New York Times, 11/8/2012 (accessed 11/30/2012)
  7. ^ Bach, PB; Pearson, SD (15 December 2015). "Payer and Policy Maker Steps to Support Value-Based Pricing for Drugs". JAMA. 314 (23): 2503–4. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.16843. PMID 26619354.
  8. ^ Bach PB, Cramer LD, Warren JL, Begg CB (1999). "Racial differences in the treatment of early-stage lung cancer". The New England Journal of Medicine. 341 (16): 1198–205. doi:10.1056/NEJM199910143411606. PMID 10519898.
  9. ^ Bach PB, Pham HH, Schrag D, Tate RC, Hargraves JL (2004). "Primary care physicians who treat blacks and whites". The New England Journal of Medicine. 351 (6): 575–84. doi:10.1056/NEJMsa040609. PMID 15295050.
  10. ^ Bach PB, Schrag D, Brawley OW, Galaznik A, Yakren S, Begg CB (2002). "Survival of blacks and whites after a cancer diagnosis". JAMA. 287 (16): 2106–13. doi:10.1001/jama.287.16.2106. PMID 11966385.
  11. ^ Pham HH, Schrag D, O'Malley AS, Wu B, Bach PB (2007). "Care patterns in Medicare and their implications for pay for performance". The New England Journal of Medicine. 356 (11): 1130–9. CiteSeerX doi:10.1056/NEJMsa063979. PMID 17360991.
  12. ^ Bach PB, Kattan MW, Thornquist MD, Kris MG, Tate RC, Barnett MJ, Hsieh LJ, Begg CB (2003). "Variations in lung cancer risk among smokers". Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 95 (6): 470–8. doi:10.1093/jnci/95.6.470. PMID 12644540.
  13. ^ Bach PB, Mirkin JN, Oliver TK, Azzoli CG, Berry DA, Brawley OW, Byers T, Colditz GA, et al. (2012). "Benefits and harms of CT screening for lung cancer: A systematic review". JAMA. 307 (22): 2418–29. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.5521. PMC 3709596. PMID 22610500.
  14. ^ Bach PB, Niewoehner DE, Black WC, American College of Chest Physicians (2003). "Screening for lung cancer: The guidelines". Chest. 123 (1 Suppl): 83S–88S. doi:10.1378/chest.123.1_suppl.83s. PMID 12527567.
  15. ^ Bach PB, Silvestri GA, Hanger M, Jett JR, American College of Chest Physicians (2007). "Screening for lung cancer: ACCP evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (2nd edition)". Chest. 132 (3 Suppl): 69S–77S. doi:10.1378/chest.07-1349. PMID 17873161.
  16. ^ Bach PB, Mirkin JN, Luke JJ (2011). "Episode-based payment for cancer care: A proposed pilot for Medicare". Health Affairs. 30 (3): 500–9. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0752. PMID 21383369.
  17. ^ Pearson SD, Bach PB (2010). "How Medicare could use comparative effectiveness research in deciding on new coverage and reimbursement". Health Affairs. 29 (10): 1796–804. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0623. PMID 20921478.
  18. ^ Peter B. Bach, "Why Medical School Should Be Free", The New York Times, 5/28/2011 (accessed 11/9/2012)
  19. ^ Peter B. Bach, "Medicare, Start the Bidding", The New York Times, 6/3/2009. (accessed 11/9/2012)
  20. ^ Peter B. Bach, "The Trouble With 'Doctor Knows Best'", The New York Times, 6/4/2012. (accessed 11/9/2012)
  21. ^ CMS Seeks Methods to Appropriately Reimburse High-Quality Cancer Care Oncology NEWS International, Vol. 15 No. 2, 2/1/2006. (accessed 11/9/2012)
  22. ^ National Cancer Policy Forum Archived 2010-03-08 at the Wayback Machine Institute of Medicine updated 9/20/2012. (accessed 11/9/2012)
  23. ^ Report to the President: Realizing the Full Potential of Health Information Technology to Improve Healthcare for Americans PCAST, pg. 7, December, 2010. (accessed 11/9/2012)
  24. ^ Geographic Variation in Health Care Spending and Promotion of High-Value Care Archived 2010-09-28 at the Wayback Machine Institute of Medicine updated 8/16/2012. (accessed 11/9/2012)
  25. ^ Peter Bach World Economic Forum (accessed 11/9/2012)

External linksEdit