Drug Pricing Webcast

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A full course of treatment with the blockbuster Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi costs $84,000 in the United States. A year on the new injectable cholesterol drugs Repatha and Praluent tops $14,000. The price of new cancer drugs now averages $10,000 per month, according to one estimate. Straining under the pressure, doctors, patients, and insurers are raising alarms over skyrocketing prices. Earlier this year, the American Society of Clinical Oncology released a new "value framework" for drugs that considers health benefit and price to help guide doctor-patient conversations around treatment options. For their part, pharmaceutical companies and some economists argue that the high cost of drug development justifies the price. This Forum will explore the factors driving the high cost of new drugs. What policy changes, from the drug approval process to patent law, could change the equation? Are some of these drugs worth the cost? And what can be done to make sure that patients can afford the medications that they need?


Caroline Humer
Correspondent, Reuters

Expert Participants

Steven Pearson
President of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review and Lecturer at Harvard Medical School

Aaron Kesselheim
Director, Program on Regulation, Therapeutics, and Law, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Meredith Rosenthal
Professor of Health Economics and Policy, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Lowell Schnipper
Chief, Hematology/Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center