February 2, 2021
Policy makers in the United States seem more interested in tying drug prices to those in other countries than nderstanding the regulatory frameworks that produce lower prices. In a recent paper in JAMA Internal Medicine, my colleagues and I outlined what we learned from studying different regulatory frameworks while writing a book, "Which Country has the World’s Best Health Care?"
The six countries we review in our paper—Australia, France, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom—have diverse financing, delivery, and reimbursement systems. None of them have the monopolistic pricing and marketing exclusivity found in the U.S. We found no evidence that the regulatory regimes resulted in meaningful delays in access to new drugs. We then identified several specific lessons learned along the path from approval to purchasing. These include uniform national prices, reimbursement tied to objective standards, linking price to therapeutic value, and considering total budget impact.