- According to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), Americans cannot determine when they are getting value and when they are overpaying for drugs.
- ICER, an independent nonprofit that evaluates clinical and cost effectiveness of new medicines, recently took part in a recent panel at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
- The panelists agreed that the methods proposed by politicians to control exorbitant drug prices---such as capping patient co-pays---are not enough to address the drug-pricing crisis.
Earlier this month, BioPharma Dive reported on the shocking price differentials between the prices paid in the U.S. and the prices paid in other countries for the same drugs. U.S. prices for certain drugs were, on average, three times higher than in the U.K., six times higher than in Brazil, and 16 times higher than in India, according to an analysis conducted by Reuters.
During the panel meeting, "Drug Pricing: Public Health Implications," the ICER panelists cited this fact upfront. The goal was to address the issue of how to align price with value, especially considering that patients in the U.S. are shouldering a disproportionate amount of the costs of drugs.
ICER panelists pointed out that in some cases, Americans are getting real value; but in other cases, they are overpaying---by a lot. So how should it be addressed? Well apparently not just with copay capitation and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
Panelist Dr. Lowell Schnipper, chairman of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), suggested that a systematic way is needed to know if a cancer drug is of low, medium or high value. He also suggested only paying for drugs when they work.
The implications of this suggestion go beyond oncology, though that's a target area for addressing pricing. The goal is to bring the entire pricing scheme into balance with the rest of the world.