By Dennis Jackman
January 7, 2016
We often hear the question, ‘Why do drugs cost as much as they do?‘ In the U.S., the cost of drugs has become a campaign issue for some Presidential candidates, and Congressional task forces and committees have been exploring this question. Legislation has been introduced in some states to limit drug prices. And in Europe, there are steps toward joint negotiation of prices among some nations.
But what is often missing in statements about the cost of medicines and in proposed solutions is an answer to the fundamental question, ‘What is the value of pharmaceutical products to patients and the healthcare system versus the cost?‘ This is where the focus needs to be placed so that appropriate policy decisions can be made based on patient benefits, savings that drugs provide to the healthcare system, economic value, and the need to sustain valuable biopharmaceutical innovation, rather than a singular focus on drug costs.