By Jason L. Crowell, MD Jerome H. Grossman MD Graduate Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School Neurologist, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Steve Pearson, Founder and President, ICER, Lecturer, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School
How doctors can be a part of the solution
What can physicians do in their hospitals and communities to advocate for fair drug prices? What questions should we ask our patients to assess for financial toxicity? In the final episode of the season, we discuss the steps doctors can be taking now to help solve the drug pricing problem.
What else makes a drug “valuable”?
If we only look at the benefits that a drug provides to those patients who take it, we may underestimate its value by ignoring the benefits it provides to the broader healthcare system. In episode 7, we reveal some of the other reasons that can make a drug more valuable than first meets the eye.
If a “fair” price rewards the benefit a drug provides, how do we quantify those benefits—both to the patient and, more broadly, to society? Cost-effectiveness analysis is the tool we can use to quantify a drug’s benefit in a way that can be compared across treatments.
Who sets a drug’s price, and how do we know it’s fair?
In episode 5, we review the variety of approaches one might take to settle on what the “fair” price of a drug should be. The most logical solution to this problem is to price the value—set a drug’s price commensurate with the clinical benefits it provides.
What’s in it for me? Incentives for making new drugs
What motivates a drug manufacturer to create a drug in the first place? How do firms stretch the limits of these incentives? In episode 4, we discuss how the “ecosystem” of drug development in the US has led to truly remarkable innovation but also runaway drug prices.
From Pharma to the Medicine Cabinet: Who Manages the Drugs?
Drugmakers, pharmacies, wholesale distributors, physicians, pharmacy benefit managers—the world of prescription drugs can seem extraordinarily complex. In episode 3, we disentangle this spider’s web and answer the question: who decides how much our patients pay at the pharmacy?
Fair drug prices for everyone!
These are the healthcare issues we all care about in 2020. Looking forward to listening to these episodes!