Valuing new medicines in the early 21:st century

  • Katarina Steen Carlsson Department of Clinical Sciences, Malmö, Lund University, Sweden The Swedish Institute for Health Economics, IHE, Lund, Sweden
  • Bengt Jönsson Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden
Keywords: valuing medicines, ex post valuation, register based analyses, regional variation in utilization


What is the actual value of new medicines? The answer to this question is the key to rational use of new technologies in health care and for design of appropriate incentives for innovation. In this paper we present methods, data and study results for valuing new medical technologies in a life cycle perspective, relevant for development of a new approach to contract and payment for innovation that can replace present systems for pricing and reimbursement.   Focus is on value in clinical practice, and on the data needs and methods needed for the development of outcome-based payment systems that balances risks and rewards for innovation in health care. We provide an overview of studies from the Swedish context on the value of new medicines introduced in the treatment of diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis. These studies using national health data and quality registers emphasise the importance of continuing efforts to collect relevant data for assessment of value after a medicine reaches the market and starts to be used in clinical practice. It is only when medicines are used in clinical practice that the benefits for real-world patient populations can be identified, measured and valued. Analyses of real-world data will also assist further development and tailoring of treatment strategies to optimize the value of the new technology. While an effective patent system rewards innovation for a limited period of time, many innovations may continue to provide value to society long after patent protection, and these values must be included in the assessment of value of innovation.