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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Just Value

Aristotle pondered the relationship between price and value in economic exchange. Healthcare systems are coming to grips with rising product costs by experimenting with valuebased contracts. They are attempting to ensure an incentive for innovation while establishing a relationship between prices and clinical outcomes.

Healthcare expenses are again rising dramatically. Even though drugs account for only 10% of costs, the subject of pricing still grabs attention and this, in turn, has become political fodder. Both intentional and unintentional comments by politicians and payers have whipsawed the share prices of pharmaceutical stocks.

A decade ago, drug price increases had moderated as the effects of the ‘patent cliff’ were felt, and many blockbusters went generic. Recently, we have witnessed an uptick in the rate of drug expenditures attributed to more approvals – often speciality products and a slowdown in the shift to generics. However, speciality pharmaceuticals are a particularly important cost driver – they accounted for one third of all drug expenditures in a 2014 study, yet they represent less than 1% of written prescriptions.

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Emile Bellott is a member of the EBR Industry Advisory Board, and an industry consultant with experience in drug discovery, development and pharmaceutical outsourcing.
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Emile Bellott
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