17-Jan-13 9:00 AM  CST

Should Drugs be Priced According to Their Value to Patients?

Will there be a chance in the future that drugs will be priced by their value to patients?  There are many medications on the market such as cancer drugs that help prolong longevity and the quality of life in addition to medications that treat diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.  However, there is no one sure way to tell if these drugs will work as they should.  Value pricing drugs based on what they ‘might do’ for a patient can be good or bad. 

Here are some key points concerning drug value:  In the retail pharmacy setting if a medication does not work as promised, many times money is spent, meaning that the patient already paid for their prescription out of pocket or the insurance company paid out for the patient.  Then, there is also the issue of Medicare, Medicaid, and co-pays.  Not only is the patient out of the money they paid for the medication, but they are also stuck with the drug as well.  Many people have medicine cabinets full of drugs they no longer take or the prescription simply did not work for them as promised by their doctor or pharmacist.    

Another point to consider in drug value is the cost it adds concerning insurance companies.  When drug prices go up, some insurance companies will simply stop paying for the drug or insist that the patient switch to the generic version.  This can be good or bad for the patient.       

As a professional pharmacy technician, what do you think of the possibility of pricing medications based on their value to patients and the added value they can potentially give to patients? 

1. Kantarjian, Hagop & Leonard Zwelling, M.D. “It’s Time To Price Drugs by Their  Value To Patients.” Houston Chronicle. Print. 13 Jan 2013. 

2. Sartori, Valentina.  “Pharmaceutical And Medical Products Practice.”  McKinsey & Company.  Web and Print.  16 Jan 2013.

For additional information on this article, please contact:
Jennifer S. O'Reilly
Source: NPTAnews  

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