Innovation

Most patients in middle and low income countries (MLICs) lack insurance coverage and so pay out of pocket for prescription medicines; pricing commensurate with income thus becomes critical to access to drugs. In this paper, the authors examine what determines the prices that manufacturers charge for originator and generic drugs across countries at all income levels.

To date, the UK Government has not been specific about how VBP will be implemented, but has indicated that calculations of value will extend beyond the QALY approach currently used by NICE. The Department of Health has stated that it will include “the range of factors through which medicines deliver benefits for patients and society”.

OHE is making available as Occasional Papers drafts of two important chapters that will appear in the Oxford Handbook on the Economics of the Pharmaceutical Industry due out in 2012. One on access to drugs and vaccines in developing countries and the other on measuring value with pharmacoeconomics.

A new report today by the Office of Health Economics (OHE) called for a shake up in the way future antibiotics are to be rewarded in Europe so that biopharmaceutical companies can spend more to fight superbugs.

Forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook on the Economics of the Biopharmaceutical Industry, this paper describes the context of the problem of access to medicines in developing countries. The authors detail policies and proposals intended to increase access to both 'global' and 'neglected' diseases, including pricing, compulsory licensing, donations and 'push' and 'pull' mechanisms to stimulate R&D.

In forthcoming chapter in the Oxford Handbook on the Economics of the Biopharmaceutical Industry, experts in the field outline the evolution of cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) through its use as part of health technology assessment. The authors also explore the theoretical and practical issues that have arisen as the result of using CEA of drugs to make decisions about resource allocation, pricing and use and offer some important recommendations.

This OHE publication is intended to inform and stimulate debate about the way different sorts of evidence and considerations are taken into account in decisions about new health care technologies. The authors argue for greater use of multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA) as an aid to decision-making that is based on health technology assessment.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is becoming a major global public health threat. In this new OHE Research Paper, the authors identify barriers to the development of new products and recommend a hybrid push-pull approach to encouraging innovation.

In December 2010, the UK Department of Health released a consultation document to elicit comments on ‘proposals for a new value-based system of pricing medicines which aims to recognise and reward innovation. The document sets out the principles that would underpin the move to value-based pricing, outlines how the new system could work across the UK and seeks views on a number of key issues’.

Summarised in this post is a just-released OHE Occasional Paper that examines the potentially positive impact of differential pricing in Europe and the overall negative effects of international reference pricing (IRP) measures.

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