Drug management

Drug pricing & markets, value-based pricing, cost control, real-world evidence for safety and effectiveness

Too many Americans are skipping prescribed medications because they find them too expensive. That foretells trouble for payers—and for patients. On this page, you’ll find several relevant facts and numbers.
Priced out of health care
Timothy Kelley
Even the most effective drug is useless if people don’t take it because it’s so expensive. Today’s high prices are pushing more and more patients into nonadherence. It’s a prescription for trouble for us all.
Robert Calandra
The industry has been criticized for lack of transparency—and worse. Some see ‘a ton of sense’ in the proposed mergers with insurers and retailers. Others see a risk of even higher drug prices and a need for oversight.
Ed Silverman
A state lawmaker calls insulin prices ‘outrageous.’ PhRMA and BIO are fighting the law in court on grounds that it interferes with their patent rights.
Original Research
Saurabh Nagar, BPharm
Jeetvan Patel, PhD
Richard H. Stanford, PharmD, MS
Resource use and exacerbation among patients with COPD are weighed in a preliminary study. Subjects treated with a combination of long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMA) and long-acting β2-adrenergic agonists (LABA) cost more to manage than those receiving LAMA alone, although emergency department and outpatient visit costs were less. The authors say those starting the LAMA+LABA therapy may have more severe COPD.
Sarah Kwon
Debra Patt, MD
Cancer treatment is advancing rapidly but at eye-popping prices. Six-figure oncology drugs are increasingly common, necessitating new approaches that will bring the drugs back into the orbit of affordability. The notion that drug payment based on value rather than volume could help reduce drug costs…
Cover Story
Eric Bender
The drugs often are more effective and have fewer side effects. The science—often just amazing. Medically, cancer treatment has never been in a better place. But are high prices making it unaffordable? Payers, providers, policymakers, and drugmakers themselves are wrestling with the issue. Meanwhile, many patients are being priced out of treatments that could save their lives.
Viewpoint
Jeremy Schafer
The breast cancer mortality rate in 2012 declined 49% compared with the expected baseline, and 63% of that reduction was from treatment drugs. You’d think that patients would take their cancer medicines no matter what. But when cost sharing reached between $100 and $500, the abandonment rate soared to 32%.