This report presents a prestudy for an SNS research project running over several years which studies how the value of new drugs can be evaluated from a broad social perspective. One conclusion from the prestudy is that there are good possibilities of obtaining better answers to many of the policy questions that are being asked within drug policy, for example about prescription and the public subsidy of new drugs. The extensive Swedish patent registers offer unique possibilities to study the actual, realized value of drugs.
ARE NEW, EXPENSIVE DRUGS PROFITABLE? There has been a gradual increase in the use of drugs in Sweden for many years, while new drugs are becoming increasingly expensive. There is nothing to indicate that there will be a turn in the trend, which means that the costs for drugs might come to constitute an increasingly larger share of the resources of society in the future. What attitude are we to take to an increased use of new, expensive drugs?
SWEDISH REGISTER DATA BASES PROVIDE A UNIQUE POSSIBILITY TO CONDUCT RESEARCH. In the prestudy, three leading Swedish health economists have studied the international literature in the field and made a survey of how the value of drugs can be studied. The extensive Swedish register databases at the individual level offer unique possibilities to study the actual realized value of drugs. The prestudy presents several proposals for how such studies could be designed. The next step in the research program is to carry out such studies. One objective is to obtain measures for the economic value of introducing new drugs.
Researchers and Scientific Directors for the prestudy of the project
PhD KATARINA STEEN CARLSSON, Professor ULF-G GERDTHAM and Professor ULF PERSSON, The Swedish Institute for Health Economics (IHE)