Arnold Foundation Awards $13.9 Million for Drug Cost Evaluation

Arnold Foundation Awards $13.9 Million for Drug Cost Evaluation

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review in Boston has announced a $13.9 million grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation in support of efforts to improve the way prescription drugs are evaluated and priced, with the goal of ensuring sustainable access to high-value care for all patients.

The three-year grant builds on a grant of $5.2 million awarded by the foundation in 2015 in support of the institute's efforts to assess new drugs with the potential to significantly improve patient care and health system budgets, including drugs to treat high cholesterol, non-small cell lung cancer, and multiple sclerosis. The new funding will enable ICER to evaluate all newly approved medicines; introduce an annual report about drug price increases; provide more frequent evidence updates for existing drug reviews; collaborate with employers and payers on innovative benefit design and reimbursement programs; start a visiting fellowship program; and further develop its methods around stakeholder engagement.

"Previous funding from LJAF has allowed ICER to lead a national discussion about prescription drug pricing, and pharmaceutical companies are now beginning to reference ICER's value-based benchmarks when launching new treatments in the U.S.," said ICER president Steven D. Pearson. "However, prices for the majority of medicines still do not reflect the clinical benefit they deliver. By expanding the frequency, scope, and reach of our value-based assessments, we will continue to move the country toward a more transparent healthcare system that rewards medical innovation while allowing patients to access the treatments they need."

"We have seen ICER fill a critical gap in our healthcare system by providing the information needed to start transparent conversations about the pricing of prescription drugs," said LJAF president and CEO Kelli Rhee. "Through the continuation and expansion of its work, ICER can help stakeholders build a system in which payers, policy makers, drug manufacturers, and others collaborate to bring new drugs to market in a way that allows for optimal patient access, without creating unsustainable strains on healthcare budgets."