A White House panel issued a report Tuesday urging several steps designed to curb rising prices for cancer medications, notably a recommendation for determining value for these increasingly expensive treatments, which can cost $100,000 or more a year.
“The panel concluded that misalignment of drug prices and value is a critical problem that must be addressed,” wrote the three-member panel, an advisory group created under President Nixon in 1971. “Achieving better alignment could improve the quality of cancer care; create incentives for development of innovative, effective new drugs; and help address increases in drug spending that are threatening to put high-value drugs out of reach for some patients.”
Value has become one of the hot buzzwords used by pharmaceutical and insurance industry insiders, along with some policy makers, to redefine the drug pricing debate. Rather than focus solely on lowering prices — a thorny and elusive goal in a world of opaque pricing — insider conversations now seek to balance pricing with usefulness.