Pricing and Reimbursement

OHE was involved in several sessions at the 9th World Congress of the International Heath Economics Association (iHEA). Prof Adrian Towse, OHE’s Director, and Prof Lou Garrison, OHE Visiting Senior Research Fellow for 2012-13 and a professor at the University of Washington, took part in a session focusing on barriers to utilisation and delivery of health service in developing countries.

A new publication from the Office of Health Economics captures the views of thought leaders from around the world about the scientific and economic climate for drug development by 2022. Based on OHE’s 50th anniversary conference, it reflects the perspectives of payers, regulatory and HTA agencies, academia, the non-profit sector and the biopharmaceutical industry.

In June, OHE’s Jorge Mestre-Ferrandiz participated as a speaker at the Summer Course on the Evaluation of Medicines at the University of Alcalá in Spain. His presentation discussed the nature of innovation in general and the incremental nature of pharmaceutical innovation in particular.

OHE’s participation at the 33rd Meeting of the Spanish Health Economics Association (AES) last week reported the results of four research projects. Jorge Mestre-Ferrandiz, OHE’s Director of Consulting, presented OHE’s recent research on projecting medicines expenditures in the NHS using a bottom-up, rather than a top-down, approach.

Dr Jorge Mestre-Ferrandiz, OHE's Director of Consulting, was a recent guest lecturer at Imperial College London. His comprehensive presentation covered the gamut of issues that influence the rate and direction of R&D for medicines, including regulatory approval requirements, the patent system, the economics of R&D, the roles of the public and private sectors, “push” and “pull” incentives, and the influence of capital markets.

Performance-based risk sharing arrangements for prescription medicines and other treatments are attractive to payers because they promise to base what is paid for a treatment on whether/how well it actually works. Programmes typically include data collection and either implicitly or explicitly link pricing, reimbursement and/or revenue to what the data show.

Medicines account for less than 10% of total NHS expenditure in the UK. Because spending on medicines is easy to separate out, however, this sector continues to come under particular scrutiny in efforts to manage costs. Forecasting spending on medicines can be useful in planning NHS resource allocation.

OHE’s Dr Jorge Mestre-Ferrandiz is a visiting lecturer in the Department of Economics at City University London. As part of his 2013 activities, he recently gave a comprehensive lecture on the economics of the market for medicines in the UK. His presentation covers the key issues, from drug development through health technology assessment and market access.

19 March: Jon Sussex will be at BioWales 2013 speaking on the health and wider economic benefits of life sciences research. 21 March: Jorge Mestre-Ferrandiz will give his updated annual presentation on the economics of the market for medicines at City College in London. 21/22 March: Nancy Devlin will be in Singapore with EuroQol colleagues. Until 12 April, OHE is accepting applications for a fixed-term position for an economist. Keep up with the latest!

The reasons for discontinuation of R&D projects in the biopharmaceutical industry are often a matter of conjecture. In a recent presentation to the 25th Annual EuroMeeting of the Drug Information Association (DIA), OHE's Jorge Mestre-Ferrandiz presented the results of OHE research into R&D discontinuations.

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