Rounding Up the Top Stories From 2019 & Wishing You a Healthy 2020

This perspective was first shared in our Weekly View e-newsletter, which summarizes the week’s most significant drug pricing news. To subscribe, click here

From all of us here at ICER, we wish you a happy holiday season and a healthy new year. And as always, we thank you for your continued support of our efforts to nudge the United States toward a system of fair drug pricing and fair patient access.

To mark our final Weekly View of the year, I’ve decided to try something a little different this morning. Before jumping into this week’s news like we typically would, let’s first look back at 10 of the most ICER-relevant articles from all of 2019.

So grab your mug of hot cocoa, settle in by the fire, and take a few moments to remember where we’ve been… and also where we’re headed.

  • Obscure Model Puts a Price on Good Health — and Drives Down Drug Costs, The Wall Street Journal
    • “The goal is to have independent information available to catalyze the kinds of discussions that should be happening in broad daylight — because they involve difficult decisions that involve patients — and not behind closed doors.” – Steve Pearson, President, ICER
  • A Small Nonprofit Becomes Powerful Drug Price Watchdog, National Public Radio
    • “We have no rational signpost for when something is too expensive or fairly priced. ICER has stepped into that void, and fills that role… Having an objective third party — and they’ve got everyone at the table in terms of stakeholders — is incredibly valuable.” – Michael Sherman, Chief Medical Officer, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • ICER Analyses Increasingly Guide US Price Negotiations, Pink Sheet
    • “Greater than 90% of payers agreed that an independent, non-governmental, third-party organization that assesses the value of healthcare products and interventions is needed in the US in an effort to control healthcare spend and provide better patient outcomes.” – ICON, a global pharmaceutical consultancy
  • Boston drug-pricing watchdog group is the ‘mouse that roared’, The Boston Globe
    • “We’re not here to tell the pharmaceutical industry that they’re evil. We’re not here to tell the payers that they’re evil. We’re here to find the win-win by providing an independent look at the evidence.” – Steve Pearson, President, ICER
  • In US Drug Pricing Debate, ICER’s Voice Gets Louder, In Vivo
    • “Whatever happens in Washington, ICER has taken on the job of drug pricing and access referee. It is not perfect. But there are not any better candidates. And ICER has shown it is not afraid to blow the whistle — on either side.” – Melanie Senior, Health Care Reporter and Analyst, In Vivo
  • Forget about an international pricing index for drugs. Cost-effectiveness is a better bargainSTAT
    • While a disease may look the same as we cross borders, the willingness to pay for a medicine can differ greatly… So why would we want to effectively outsource this process to other countries with different values — economic or otherwise? …Insurers and drug makers already calculate value, although their negotiations are increasingly influenced by cost-effectiveness reports issued by a nonprofit called the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review.” – Ed Silverman, Senior Writer, STAT News
  • Can We Afford to Be Cured? A Conversation With ICER’s Steve Pearson, Xconomy
    • “ICER isn’t necessarily contentious. The group has begun working with drug and insurance companies, and taking patient input, too, to come up with its assessments. But ICER’s downward pressure will be even more important in the new age of very expensive gene and cell therapies.”– Alex Lash, Biotech Editor, Xconomy