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Dynamic modelling to identify mitigation strategies for the COVID-19 pandemic

Original article
Gorji H, Arnoldini M, Jenny D, Hardt WD, Jenny P
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20487

Relevant pandemic-spread scenario simulations can provide guiding principles for containment and mitigation policies. The authors devised a compartmental model to predict the effectiveness of different mitigation strategies with a main focus on mass testing. The model suggests that testing strategies can be equally effective as social distancing, though at much lower economic costs.

Towards novel reimbursement models for expensive advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs)

Original article
Picecchi D, Bertram K, Brücher D, Bauer M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20355

This article analyses the current legal framework in Switzerland and critically evaluates existing reimbursement models, particularly with respect to their adaptation for advanced therapy medicinal products. As a promising reimbursement arrangement, this paper proposes a model combining outcome-based instalment payments with aspects of the pay for performance and the annuity payment model. 

Optimal allocation of limited test resources for the quantification of COVID-19 infections

Original article
Chatzimanolakis M, Weber P, Arampatzis G, Wälchli D, Kičić I, Karnakov P, Papadimitriou C, Koumoutsakos P
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20445

The proposed methodology can lead to vastly less uncertain predictions for the spread of the disease, thus improving estimates of the effective reproduction number and the future number of unreported infections. This information can provide timely and systematic guidance for the effective identification of infectious individuals and for decision-making regarding lockdown measures and the distribution of vaccines.

Hepatitis C micro-elimination among people on opioid agonist therapy is a low-hanging fruit

Bruggmann P, Maeschli B
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20348

People who use drugs are badly affected by chronic hepatitis C. As a result of the pragmatic national drug policy in Switzerland, the majority of persons with an opioid dependency are on opioid agonist therapy (OAT) and therefore in the healthcare system. For years, national guidelines have recommended that all OAT patients be regularly tested for hepatitis C and, if tested positive, referred for treatment.

Response of a European surgical department to the COVID-19 crisis

Peloso A, Moeckli B, Oldani G, Triponez F, Toso C
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20241

At first sight, surgery appears to be only peripherally affected by the COVID.19 pandemic. However, the surgical department plays a key role in the response to this crisis. This article aims to provide a blueprint for a general surgery department’s response to this current pandemic crisis and also future events of similar magnitude.

COVID-19 and Iran: swimming with hands tied!

Gharebaghi R, Heidary F
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20242

Like many other countries around the world, Iran is contending with the COVID-19 epidemic, but with the additional burden of international sanctions on supplies of medicines and medical equipment.

Diagnostic diversity – an indicator of institutional and regional healthcare quality

Original article
Brutsche M, Rassouli F, Gallion H, Kalra S, Roger VL, Baty F
Swiss Med Wkly. 2018;148:w14691

The diagnostic diversity index can be seen as an indicator of diagnostic precision - the higher the degree of diversity, the better the diagnostic precision.

Dual use in the 21st century: emerging risks and global governance

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Ienca M, Vayena E
Swiss Med Wkly. 2018;148:w14688

Dual use risks in the second decade of the 21st century are characterised by: diversification of dual use domains, digitalisation of potential threats, and the proliferation of actors.

A buyers’ club to improve access to hepatitis C treatment for vulnerable populations

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Vernaz N, Calmy A, Hurst S, Jackson Y, Negro F, Perrier A, Wolff H
Swiss Med Wkly. 2018;148:w14649

High costs are an important barrier to treatment access for vulnerable and often uninsured patients with hepatitis C.

Predictors for shorter and longer length of hospital stay outliers: a retrospective case-control study of 8247 patients at a university hospital trauma department

Original article
Jentzsch T, Seifert B, Neuhaus V, Moos RM
Swiss Med Wkly. 2018;148:w14650

Providing efficient healthcare is important for hospitals. Shorter and longer length of hospital stay (LOS) outliers influence financial results and reimbursement.

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