This article was originally published in the June 2017 issue of In Vivo.
Drug pricing continues to be a social and political dilemma that forms a divide between the drug industry on one side and medical community, governments and patients on the other side. Frustrations over the high cost of prescription drugs have resulted in a groundswell of government and private initiatives to increase transparency, analyze value through various frameworks or directly control pricing.
In May, I joined various members of governmental organizations, patient organizations and the life sciences industry at the 2017 Fair Pricing Forum, an invitation-only meeting to discuss “fair pricing” for medications in Amsterdam. Organized by the World Health Organization and the Dutch Ministry of Health, the meeting prompted a productive dialogue among stakeholders but also revealed a worrisome gap in the overall perception of the drug pricing discussion. The pharmaceutical industry’s viewpoint was widely underrepresented, with attendance heavily weighted toward governments and activists, and only a small industry delegation.