Articles

Mortgaging New Treatments Kicks the Can on High Drug Prices

The launch price for one-time gene therapy Zolgensma presents various implications.
Originally published on 07/09/2019 in Morning Consult

At $2.1 million for a one-time administration, Zolgensma is the most expensive drug in the U.S.

Novartis has proposed long-term financing contracts for Zolgensma, a strategy many payers support. These long term financing options do not create more money, but do create avenues for passing costs back to insurance beneficiaries in future premiums. The FDA expects to approve 10-20 cell and gene therapies per year by 2025. Collectively, these may treat tens of millions of Americans, raising questions about sustainability.

Read full editorial here.

Share

Research & Insights

We conduct non-partisan, independent research, and make our work accessible and informative to policymakers and the general audience alike. Browse our featured research or explore our work by article type.

Pharmaceutical Products and Their Value
Steep increases in prices and spending on prescription drugs in the United States have triggered public outrage and questions about their value.
Value in Health 03/29/2020
The Drugs at the Heart of Our Pricing Crisis
The US drug pricing system is broken, but not irreparable. For large-molecule biologic drugs, enter: Production Plus Profit Pricing (P-quad, pronounced like Ahab's seagoing vessel).
NYTimes 03/15/2021
Biosimilars: Market Changes do not equal policy success
Numerous articles and reports have trumpeted biosimilar market growth, but it's critical we do not lose sight of the sole objective for creating the biosimilar market: to reduce the cost of older biologic drugs for society and taxpayers.
Drug Pricing Lab 03/15/2021
Bottom-Up Pricing Estimate for P-quad
How much would biologic drugs cost under P-quad pricing? Two approaches to estimating fully loaded costs plus a profit (10% and 20% examined) suggest net discounts from current prices would be at least 65% to 75%
Drug Pricing Lab 03/12/2021
Modeling P-quad
The Drug Pricing Lab engaged Milliman to conduct an independent analysis of the Production Plus Profit Pricing (P-quad) policy proposal. The Milliman analysis estimates the projected spending on U.S. biologic and biosimilar drugs under a referent scenario where there is no biosimilar entry or competition, the existing ‘status quo’ scenario under the current biosimilar environment, and the Drug Pricing Lab’s P-quad policy proposal. 

This report was commissioned by Drug Pricing Lab.
Milliman 03/12/2021
Ethics of Clinical Trials to Evaluate Biosimilars
Biosimilars require extensive, expensive, and time-consuming human testing prior to market entry, a process vastly different than generics. So why are we still doing them?
MedRx IV 03/09/2021
COVID-19 Reduced Average Life Expectancy of Americans by Five Days,…
The CDC made a mistake.
STAT 02/25/2021
Instead of debating 'first-shot' vs 'set-aside' vaccine approaches, hospitals' study…
Hospitals could start studies of their own employees to answer important questions, including whether the first-shot approach has downsides when compared to the set-aside strategy.
STAT 01/04/2021
After 4 Years of Trump, Medicare and Medicaid Badly Need…
Many promising ideas won't work as expected, and that's all the more reason for CMS to evaluate how medical care is delivered to its patients.
NYTimes 12/01/2020
Trump's Drug-Pricing Ideas Would Cost Taxpayers a Bundle
Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies would stand to make a lot more money.
Bloomberg Opinion 09/29/2020
We can't tackle the pandemic without figuring out which Covid-19…
There may be several Covid-19 vaccines by winter, but there will also need to be a study comparing the viruses to one another as part of rolling out widespread vaccination.
STAT 09/24/2020
CMS's Proposed Medicaid Best Price Loophole for Value-Based Purchasing of…
The administration has proposed a loophole in the Medicaid Best Price rules that would dismiss linking the drug's effectiveness to its price.
HA Blog 07/06/2020

Featured News

See All News
WGBH 01/31/2020

Incentives for Rare Diseases: the Right Healthcare Priorities?

Dr. Peter Bach joins Innovation Hub Radio by WGBH to discuss how incentives provided through policies have rewarded innovation for rare drugs and whether these are the right national healthcare priorities today.
Read Article
Newsletter

Stay up to date on our work and news