Dr Steven Pearson Discusses Increased Scrutiny on Drug Pricing

As more attention has been drawn to high-cost drugs, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review has introduced a focus on drug pricing in its reports, explained Steve Pearson, MD, MSc, FRCP, founder and president of ICER.

As more attention has been drawn to high-cost drugs, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review has introduced a focus on drug pricing in its reports, explained Steve Pearson, MD, MSc, FRCP, founder and president of ICER.

Transcript (modified)

As more attention has been drawn to high-cost drugs, how have ICER’s drug assessment reports evolved?

What’s interesting is that we’ve been doing these reports in a variety of different formats for about 7 years and the key change, in some ways, was when we started looking more explicitly at budget impact—potential budget impact—as well as long-term cost effectiveness. And we were asked around the time of the hepatitis C drugs, by policy makers and by others, “If these drugs are so expensive that they are a poor value or unaffordable, at what price would they have been sensibly priced for the health system?”

And at that point we decided it would be helpful for our reports to include that element, as well. So I think that, along with a lot of other reasons, the policy field has been doing more work on drug pricing. But I think with that addition to our reports, and the fact that we have independent public committees that we convene to debate the evidence, that we take votes on the evidence—you put that package together and I think it’s something that people have been paying a lot more attention to.