Berdud, Drummond and Towse (2020) propose a method for establishing a reasonable price for an orphan drug. Assuming prices for drugs are set according to incremental value, they propose adjustments to a payer’s ‘normal’ cost-effectiveness threshold (CET) for non-orphan drugs to ensure orphan drug developers achieve no more than the industry-wide rate of return. Adjustments are calculated for differences in R&D costs and population sizes.

This year’s OHE lecture addressed the question: how should the world pay for a COVID-19 vaccine? The paper by Adrian Towse and Isobel Firth accompanying the lecture is now published. It builds on work undertaken with Kalipso Chalkidou, Rachel Silverman and Ganesh Ramakrishnan from the Center for...