Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Restraining High and Rising Cancer Drug Prices: Need for Accelerating R&D Productivity and Aligning Prices with Value

Bhardwaj, Ramesh (2015): Restraining High and Rising Cancer Drug Prices: Need for Accelerating R&D Productivity and Aligning Prices with Value.

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Abstract

ABSTRACT The high price of cancer drugs has become a world-wide phenomenon. In recent decades, studies have produced ample evidence of rising research and clinical testing costs underlying pharmaceutical innovations. There is a general concurrence that the current model of drug development needs a thorough streamlining. It is also alleged that the prices of new anticancer agents seem to be decided by pharmaceutical companies, according to what the market will bear, in a producer-dominated market. Studies have noted with concern that there is a little correlation between the actual efficacy of a new drug (in terms of prolonging a patient’s life in years, or quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and its price. The present study is an attempt to address some major challenges which are: (i) how to increase the overall pace of innovation (R&D productivity); (ii) how to control the costs and prices of new innovative drugs; (iii) how to direct more innovation to areas where social returns are highest; and (iv) how to improve patients’ timely access to innovative medicines while balancing ‘safety’ concerns.

Primary proposals suggested in recent literature to deal with the above challenges include, among others, (a) modernization of the drug development process through ‘open models’ of strategic partnerships (between government, academia, and industry), (b) adoption of a value-based pricing system, (c) promotion of ‘Personalized/targeted Medicine’, (d) introduction of evidence-based decision making by stakeholders based upon ‘comparative effectiveness research’(CER) analysis, and (e) implantation of regulatory reforms in drugs’ evaluation and approval practices. The present study makes an attempt to shed light on the above challenges and proposals.

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