Pricing Transparency in Pharma

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Publication Date:
November 2019
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Pharma challenged to engage and shape the drug pricing transparency debate

Anxieties about rising drug prices is fuelling an ever louder global demand for price transparency—and reformers are getting their message heard by regulators and legislators. Concerned that confidential pricing arrangements are more about profit than patient access, advocates see increasing price transparency as key to lowering costs and increasing patient access. But drug pricing is complex and, at a market level, is nuanced by a range of regulatory, HTA and market access impacts. How can pharma engage, defend and, frankly, better explain its pricing decisions? What are the countries/regions and organisations that are driving the price transparency discussion? What policies should pharma be developing now?

Pricing transparency is an issue that will not got away and pharma must actively engage if it is to influence the debate. That is why in Pricing Transparency in Pharma we interviewed experts to help you understand the current drive for price transparency, the countries and organisations leading the debate and the strategies that can prepare pharma to comply and engage.

Pricing experts explore the health insurance landscape

  • Will there be more legislative action on drug price transparency in the future and what are the prospects for legislation convergence across countries/regions?
  • How best can manufacturers monitor the countries and organisations that are shaping the drug price transparency debate?
  • How should manufacturers take into account price reporting in future pricing strategy for new product launches and existing products?
  • How might drug price transparency impact pricing strategies?
  • What will be the impact of drug price transparency on price, access, R&D and reputation of the industry

What our experts say…

"There are middle-income countries who are pushing for drug price transparency. I think that there will be more and more countries who will push, including the upper middle-income and high-income countries. That's because even they find that prices can be unaffordable. Probably the European countries will start pushing more towards this. I think that before there was this notion that the prices and affordability of medicines were a problem of the low and middle-income countries. But we see more new medicines that are really innovative and effective and really are solutions for health care systems – a clear example is Sofosbuvir for hepatitis C – this medicine (and other similar medicines for HepC) brought to light affordability problems even for high-income countries. That's a nice reminder; rich countries realise now that the affordability problem is also their problem."
Daniela Moye Holz, Netherlands

"As an exercise, it may be useful to be prepared for the eventuality of price transparency. With the status quo, companies can look at what is the maximum price they can get in a given market. The alternative scenario is what is the average price that we would expect? Companies would need to determine the average price that maximises revenue across all the markets, taking into account willingness to pay, and the elasticities that they think exist in these markets, as well as non-financial objectives such as equity and access. That's a different exercise relative to optimising 20, 30, 40 prices."
David Tordrup, Denmark

"The way that the US system is set up, with this convoluted pricing of drugs by manufacturers, and then rebates and discounts means that the push for price transparency is not going to have an impact. For example, there has been a headline about Nevada, how they are going to fine 21 diabetes drug makers some $17 million for violating transparency law. Two things struck me about the headline. One, $17 million doesn't seem like a lot of money, especially divided among 21 drug makers, and two, it doesn't include the top three branded diabetes drug makers. The legislation doesn't cover the big names."
Larry Gorkin, US

What to expect

  • A detailed report which explores the growing demand for price transparency, assesses the countries/organisations that are driving the discussion and the key issues pharma must engage with if it is to defend pricing decisions and policies
  • An examination of 10 key issues which pharma needs to understand and respond to
  • 11 targeted questions put to the pricing experts
  • Their perceptive responses that provided 33 insights supported by 56 directly quoted comments

Expert contributors

The report harnesses critical insights and opinions from experts whose experience includes:

  • Working in an organisation actively involved in meeting current, and monitoring future, drug price transparency requirements
  • Publishing on drug price transparency requirements
  • Expertise in pricing and reimbursement and market access including international aspects of pricing strategy
  • A deep and working knowledge of current trends in drug pricing transparency

Contributors to the report

  • Kalipso Chalkidou, Director of Global Health Policy and Senior Fellow, Centre for Global Development, a non-partisan organisation working to reduce global poverty and improve lives through innovative economic research
  • Larry Gorkin, Gorkin & Cheddar Consulting, based in New York, US. Larry conducts strategic analysis in health economics
  • Daniela Moye Holz, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Groningen in the Netherlands, whose research includes the impact of price negotiations on public procurement prices of medicines
  • David Tordrup, Director at Triangulate Health Ltd based in Denmark, specialises in health technologies and health systems
  • Richard Sear, Director at Dolon Ltd based in the UK, specialises in strategic pricing and market access for rare and severe diseases

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