Discussion on Drug Value Heats Up in US Election

Healthcare costs, specifically those related to prescription drugs, are a major election issue for many Americans. According to the August 2016 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, two-thirds of Americans say Medicare access and healthcare affordability are top election issues, and 53 percent of voters say that prescription drug costs in particular are top priorities. Many of the efforts to address these issues concern the use of comparative efficacy and cost-effectiveness research. These forms of research, widely used integrated in the healthcare systems of many countries in Europe and elsewhere, are only recently gaining traction in the United States. Policy efforts and election outcomes could have a major impact on how these forms of research are used in the future.

How Can the U.S. Healthcare System Better Measure Cost-Effectiveness?

The recent and frequent outcry over expensive drugs has made evident the gap in the United States’ healthcare system. While no perfect system exists, other countries have health technology assessment (HTA) agencies to evaluate efficacy and/or cost-effectiveness and inform reimbursement decisions.

What might the U.S. learn from countries like England, Germany, and France in structuring a methodology for evaluating drugs?

Part Two of Our Interview with CM Advisor Peter Pitts

Peter Pitts is a member of our Advisory Board and the President of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest. He is also a former FDA Associate Commissioner, advisor to the Obama administration and currently serves as an Associate Editor of the DIA journal, Therapeutic Innovation & Regulatory Science. His work has been published in New York TimesThe Washington PostWall Street Journal, and The Economist. Peter also has a fantastic blog, so if you’re not already a reader, you should definitely check it out! In part One of our interview with Peter, he spoke about a variety of topics including his take on the FDA’s expedited review program, comparing the approaches taken by the FDA and the EMA (European Medicines Agency), and his overall impression of the current state of drug development.

Is Global Variability in HTAs Limiting Patient Access to Important Medicines?

On June 17th we attended the HTAi conference in Washington, DC. At the conference we presented research on three topics, including one that was a collaboration with PhRMA (The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America). Our collaboration focused on clinical variability across Heath Technology Agencies (HTAs), and highlighted some of the challenges for countries that may be considering utilizing technology assessment as a budgetary tool, but which may have consequences on patient access to important medicines. We examined trends in global HTA, with a specific focus on established global HTA models that are often referenced in U.S. policy conversations regarding access and reimbursement. To that end, we paid particular attention to The United Kingdom’s (UK) National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), given their high level of activity and amplified presence in global HTA.