The Pricing of Outcome-Based Medicines

Outcomes-based pricing is usually based on the effectiveness of the drug in treating a specific set of symptoms. The pricing strategy ensures that payors are charged only for the duration of the therapy that is needed to achieve the desired results. However, this pricing strategy will require data to support its effectiveness, and could potentially add an additional burden on patients in terms of testing, doctor visits, and time, which could have an  effect on stress levels, and mental health disorders.

Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs)

ATMPs are a relatively new area of drug development, and their curative potential of ATMPs is changing the face of healthcare.  Whilst there is a potential long-term saving and quality of life, the immediate impact of the treatment can be intrusive and lead to significant disruption for not only the patient, but also the wider family of the patient, and may affect not only the mental well-being of the patient, and their family, but also a significant economic burden.  This, together with the high pricing of ATMPs is still a major barrier to access for most patients and healthcare providers to potentially curative treatments.  More consideration is needed in the development of these medicines to ascertain how mental well-being of the patient and their family along with the financial burden can be alleviated. 

The Role of Mental Health in Drug Pricing

Mental health and quality of life needs to play a more significant role in drug pricing to ensure that the quality of life of patients and the impact of treatment on their mental health receives the attention it deserves. Incorporating support packages for patients and their families into the pricing strategy could ultimately improve the quality of care patients receive, and a more desirable outcome for not only the patient, but the wider community. 

The Way Forward

To address the current situation, drug manufacturers, healthcare providers, and policymakers must work collaboratively to take into account the impact of treatments on the mental health and well-being of patients and the wider community. Innovative medicines require innovative ways to ensure not only the treatment is efficacious, but the treatment pathway does not have an unbalanced bearing on mental health.  There is increasingly more emphasis being placed on the need for patient support programmes, to accompany treatment regimes, and these support programmes also need to be factored into the pricing strategy adopted by NICE and other pricing agencies.

The pricing of medicines should be done with a view towards looking at the short term price, but also placing greater emphasis and value on the longer term reduction in costs, through potentially curative treatments, meaning less burden on the health service and improved mental well-being of patients receiving the care they deserve. 

Life Science Law has a team of experts who have a wealth of experience in the development of patient support programmes and pricing strategies and are well-placed to provide support in this area. If you would like to discuss how we could help you, please do book a no obligation meeting: 

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