Economics of Innovation

In a recently published report, we explore the financial sustainability of gene therapies and highlight the factors that are likely to influence the financial sustainability of this important medical technology.

Firth, I., Schirrmacher, H., Zhang, K., Towse, A. and Hampson, G.

Consulting Report
May 2021

Gene therapies represent a paradigm shift in medicine, with the potential to address the root causes of chronic diseases. They offer one-time treatment regimens and, in some cases, potentially a cure. As a result, they offer transformative value for patients, physicians, health systems and society. However, with the prospect of more gene therapy approvals there is concern in Europe that these technologies could threaten the financial sustainability of health systems.

This blog discusses the rationale behind a COVID-19 patent waiver decision and contributes to the current debate by producing a balanced view on the benefits and drawbacks resulting from an intellectual property (IP) waiver, in the short- and the long run. Moreover, it offers recommendations and alternatives for expediting global access to COVID-19 vaccines without waiving their IP rights.

In this blog, we reflect on some of the key learnings from the recent pull and push strategies to develop COVID-19 vaccines in the UK, the US, and the European Union. We use our recent work on portfolio management, pricing, and procurement of COVID-19 vaccines (forthcoming as an OHE report) to organise the review.

Consulting Report
April 2021

We have now published an interactive report on our recent debate, The Promise of Gene Therapy: Are we Ready?

In a webinar held on 16 March 2021, Mary Harney, Annie Hubert and Simone Boselli joined OHE’s Adrian Towse to debate the issues surrounding the adoption of gene therapies. In the interactive report we highlight our 5 key takeaways from the debate with clips, quotes and highlights.

A new Editorial reviews three solutions to the price and value challenge to reimbursing combination products. Higher thresholds are not justifiable. Evidence to support use of shorter regimens will take time to develop. Multi-use pricing is the best option to explore.

A new paper, published last week in Applied Economics, by Dimitrios Kourouklis, Senior Economist at OHE, looks at the question of whether government funding increases public sector development of new medicines. Looking at public sector drug development in Europe, this paper suggests that government funding does have an impact on the research and development pipeline, particularly at the earlier stages of research for medicines targeting rare diseases.

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.

Barros, P.

Seminar Briefing
August 2020

The issue of rising prescription drug prices is a concern in every country. Dozens of policy initiatives and hundreds of research projects over last the fifty years have attempted to find solutions to pricing that provide an appropriate balance between the cost to health care systems and incentives for R&D. To name but a few, these include reference pricing, managed entry agreements, price-volume agreements, rebates, and risk sharing. The ultimate solution, however, remains elusive.

 

Towse, A. and Firth, I.

Monograph
July 2020

This year’s OHE lecture addresses the question: how should the world pay for a COVID-19 vaccine? Adrian Towse, Emeritus Director of OHE and Senior Research Fellow presents the challenges that we face in developing a COVID-19 vaccine,and suggests a mechanism for buying the vaccine on a global scale. This paper was published alongside the lecture but contains additional analysis, extensive footnotes and references. Comments and feedback are welcome.

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