1 Center for American Progress | Comparing the Effectiveness of Prescription Drugs
Comparing the Effectiveness of Prescription Drugs: The German Experience
By Daniel Bahr and Thomas Huelskoetter May 21, 2014
As ederal miniser o healh in Germany, Daniel Bahr oversaw he implemenaion o wide-reaching reorms o Germany’s prescripion drug marke. In his paper, he oﬀers his unique perspecive o explain hese reorms and how he Unied Saes can learn fom Germany’s example.
Rising prescripion drug prices have posed a challenge o healh care sysems all over he world. Tis is paricularly rue in he Unied Saes, which has he highes prescripion drug prices among major counries, paying more han wice as much as counries such as Ausralia and he Unied Kingdom.
Alhough drugs coninue o increase in price, we ofen know litle abou wheher improvemens in he eﬀeciveness o hese drugs are keeping pace. Many oher counries evaluae drugs by unding comparaive eﬀecive-ness research, or CER, which evaluaes he clinical eﬀeciveness o wo or more medical reamens, drugs, or medical devices. Alernaively, some counries ocus on cos-eﬀeciveness and preer cos-beneﬁ analyses, which conras he price o a drug agains he added beneﬁ o paiens. While he consideraion o cos is conroversial in many counries, including he Unied Saes, CER considers only he diﬀerences in clinical beneﬁ or paiens beween wo or more reamens.
Since he Unied Saes has radiionally underinvesed in CER and consequenly su-ers rom a lack o meaningul comparaive inormaion on medical reamens, he Aﬀordable Care Ac creaed he Paien-Cenered Oucomes Research Insiue, or PCORI, o publicly und CER in he Unied Saes.
As PCORI decides how o allocae is subsanial research unding, i should look abroad o see how oher counries have successully unded and uilized high-prioriy CER.Germany reormed is prescripion drug marke in 2010 o incorporae a srucured CER process o evaluae he eﬀeciveness o new drugs, in order o reduce spend-ing, improve compeiion and eﬃciency, and say paien- and innovaion-riendly. Germany’s reorm eﬀor provides a useul example or he Unied Saes. Te German model o universal healh care is no a sae-driven, single-payer sysem, bu insead insures mos people hrough nonproﬁ healh insurance unds, ofen reerred o as