AMA Announces Support for Value-Based Pricing

The American Medical Association (AMA) voiced its support for value-based drug pricing in an initiative that “[aims] at changing the fundamentals of prescription drug pricing without compromising patient outcomes and access,” according to a news release from the agency.

“The new AMA policy acknowledges the carte blanche approach to drug pricing needs to change to align with the health system’s drive for high-quality care based on value,” said AMA President Andrew W. Gurman, MD. “We need to have the full picture to assess a drug’s true value to patients and the health-care system.”

Calling value-based pricing “a viable cost-saving solution for challenging the current rationale for determining what patients pay for prescription drugs in the U.S. market,” AMA hopes that the new policy will blunt growing pharmaceutical spending rates by tying drug prices to benefits and risks. The AMA also released the following guiding principles for value-based pricing programs:

  • Value-based prices of pharmaceuticals should be determined by objective, independent entities.
  • Value-based prices of pharmaceuticals should be evidence-based and be the result of valid and reliable inputs and data that incorporate rigorous scientific methods, including clinical trials, clinical data registries, comparative effectiveness research, and robust outcome measures that capture short- and long-term clinical outcomes.
  • Processes to determine value-based prices of pharmaceuticals must be transparent, easily accessible to physicians and patients, and provide practicing physicians and researchers a central and significant role.
  • Processes to determine value-based prices of pharmaceuticals should limit administrative burdens on physicians and patients.
  • Processes to determine value-based prices of pharmaceuticals should incorporate criteria to help assure patient affordability as well as limit system-wide budgetary impact.
  • Value-based pricing of pharmaceuticals should allow for patient variation and physician discretion.

“The AMA principles emphasize that efforts to price prescription drugs based on value should ultimately benefit patients and the health-care system without stifling innovation in the pharmaceutical industry,” Dr. Gurman added. “These initiatives should ensure patient access to necessary prescription drugs and allow for patient variation and physician discretion. In addition, such initiatives should limit administrative burdens on physician practices and patients, and be evidence-based, transparent, objective, and involve the input of practicing physicians and researchers.”

Source: American Medical Association news release, November 15, 2016.

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