Has the Time Come for Pharma to Accept Modest Prices?

Published Nov 4, 2019

Pharma PricingCopenhagen, Denmark—4 November 2019—ISPOR, the professional society for health economics and outcomes research—explored the issue of drug pricing in the session, “Time for Change? Has the Time Come for the Pharma Industry to Accept Modest Prices?” [IP4]. The session was held this afternoon at ISPOR Europe 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Payers’ resistance to accept the prices of new medical therapies is impacting biopharmaceutical companies’ bottom lines and reputations, as well as patient access. Some companies have had to make significant cuts to the prices of novel therapies in Europe and the United States for key indications; and others have failed to secure market access and coverage in important European countries.

Panelists for this session included:

  • Kate Dion, MA, 3D Communications, Dollar, Scotland, UK
  • Sarah Garner, PhD, World Health Organization, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Jens Grueger, PhD, F. Hoffmann-LaRoche, Division Pharma, Basel, Switzerland
  • Michael Schroeter, PhD, Viopas Partners, Zurich, Switzerland

The panel offered contrasting views on how the biopharmaceutical industry can deliver maximum return on investment for investors without compromising patient access. Ms Dion moderated the discussion, focusing the panel on actionable outcomes. Dr Grueger argued that the benefits of a medicine should dictate the price of a medicine, noting that failure to do this will result in drug innovators not being able to reinvest in future research and development. In contrast, Dr Schroeter contended that the old model of “banking on innovation” to drive sky-high prices has expired. He made the case that payer pushback is leading to access restrictions that are hitting both the top- and bottom-line of companies. Dr Schroeter recommended a solution geared to a holistic access strategy focused on getting the price equation right from the beginning. Dr Garner explored the question of sustainability from the public health perspective and will proposed innovative ideas that would allow companies to reap the rewards for their innovations while also assuring that patients benefit from them.

The panel underscored a variety of opposing views on drug pricing. Balancing the needs of patients, healthcare systems, drug innovators, and investors has never been more difficult; however failure to do so could have disastrous consequences for all stakeholders.

ISPOR is recognized globally as the leading professional society for health economics and outcomes research and its role in improving healthcare decisions. ISPOR Europe 2019 expects to draw more than 5000 healthcare stakeholders with an interest in HEOR, including researchers and academicians, assessors and regulators, payers and policymakers, the life sciences industry, healthcare providers, and patient engagement organizations.

Additional information on the conference can be found at:
Conference Information | Program and Presentations | #ISPOREurope | Sponsors | Exhibitors | News and Press


ISPOR, the professional society for health economics and outcomes research (HEOR), is an international, multistakeholder, nonprofit dedicated to advancing HEOR excellence to improve decision making for health globally. The Society is the leading source for scientific conferences, peer-reviewed and MEDLINE®-indexed publications, good practices guidance, education, collaboration, and tools/resources in the field.
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