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Eight years ago, Germany required comparisons between all newly introduced drugs and existing options, such as the standard of care, to gauge their benefit as a basis for price negotiations. But a new analysis finds that between 2011 and 2017, only a minority of new medicines offered a meaningful benefit, leading analysts to ask: “Where did we go wrong?”

The law emerged in the face of rising drug prices, a problem that has only accelerated in the intervening years. This prompted officials at the the independent agency that assesses clinical evidence — the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, or IQWiG — to explore whether the approach was actually leading to greater value.

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