European Doctors issue statement on medicine prices

12/04/2022

The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) has issued a statement warning that the concept of value should not be used to justify high medicines prices in Europe. CPME notes that new medicines frequently enter the market at unaffordable prices, which poses a challenge for the sustainability of health budgets and affects doctors’ and patients’ ability to choose the appropriate treatment. The statement highlights that pharmaceutical companies previously justified high medicine prices as being necessary to cover research and development costs and to compensate for the associated risks. However, it notes the recent shift towards basing medicine prices on their perceived value to society and health systems. It is further explained that a multidimensional approach to characteristics in value-based pricing models should consider medicine efficacy and safety outcomes, improvement in patient quality of life and quality of evidence, as well as economic evaluation.

This should also consider wider societal perspectives to assess the costs and benefits of a medicine. However, it noted that the pharmaceutical industry places a disproportionate weight on economic aspects, as they argue that the value of a medicine is equal to the cost saving for society. The statement concludes by advocating for pharmaceutical pricing which prioritises patient’s rights and ethical provisions, in addition to considering solidarity in care determined by need, with cost efficiency a final consideration. Furthermore, it is noted that transparency on net medicine prices and research and development costs is indispensable for competition and a balanced market. The fully article published by CPME can be read at: https://www.cpme.eu/news/how-the-pharmaceutical-industry-misuses-the-concept-of-value-to-justify-high-medicine-prices