Measuring the Value of Prescription Drugs

Escalating drug prices have alarmed physicians and the American public and led to calls for government price controls. Less visibly, they have also spawned a flurry of private-sector initiatives designed to help physicians, payers, and patients understand the value of new therapies and thus make better choices about their use. Programs recently introduced or advanced  by nonprofit organiza-tions, including leading medical professional  societies,  represent an important innovation in the United States, but they have also revealed numerous analytic and implementation challenges.

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Are Biopharmaceutical Budget Caps Good  Public Policy?

Medical innovation has generated significant gains in health over the past decades, but these advances have been accompanied by rapid growth in healthcare spending. Faced with a growing number of high-cost but high-impact innovations, some have argued to constrain prices for new therapies – especially through global caps on pharmaceutical spending and limits on prices for individual drugs. We show that applying this threshold to past innovations would have limited access to many highly valuable drugs such as statins and anti-retrovirals.

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Institutional Health Care Rationing Ignores Patients, Undermines Progress, and Leads To Deterioration of Care

Aimed Alliance Paper


Not at Any Price: How ICER Robs Myeloma Paitents of Life and Hope

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), a Boston-based not-for-profit organization describes itself as “a trustworthy, independent source to help assess how valuable a new drug really is.” ICER does this by recommending prices that, in its estimation, accurately reflect that value. However, ICER’s price recommendations are designed to benefit insurers and pharmacy benefit management firms that fund the group. ICER’s recommendations are used to guide what drugs should go on drug formularies (the list of medicines included in our prescription drug plans) as well as how much we pay for medicines and when we can get them. In turn, these decisions maximize the rebates and discounts drug companies must pay the pharmaceutical benefit management companies (PBMs) that create the drug formularies where their products included.

CMPI Paper