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ICER, VA Pharmacy Benefits Management Services Office collaborate

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) has agreed to work closely with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Pharmacy Benefits Management Services office (PBM) to support its use of ICER drug assessment reports in drug coverage and price negotiations with the pharmaceutical industry.

As part of this arrangement, ICER will work with staff in the VA PBM to facilitate their integration of ICER reports into the VA formulary management process of evaluating the comparative clinical effectiveness and value of drugs.

ICER will also work with VA staff to develop options for using “value-based price benchmarks” suggested in ICER reports to support negotiations with pharmaceutical companies, with the goal of maintaining excellent access to important treatments while ensuring prudent use of VA resources.

“Our mission has always been to support a more effective, affordable, and just health care system by providing objective analysis of the effectiveness and value of different care options,” said Dr. Steven Pearson, ICER’s president. “We are therefore very proud to begin a concerted effort to work with, and learn from, the pharmacy team at the VA.”

“All ICER reports are in the public domain, but we will work closely with the VA to support its efforts to consider the findings of our reports in the context of its own population. We will also assist the VA in exploring new ways it can use the reports to continue to provide a safe, effective and sustainable prescription benefit while more closely aligning a drug’s price with the value it provides to Veterans and the US taxpayer.”

ICER’s drug assessment reports include a full analysis of each therapy’s comparative clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and potential budget impact. Patient input is used to inform these analyses and to identify other potential benefits and broader contextual considerations that should be considered in judgments of overall value. ICER uses transparent methods to calculate for each new drug a value-based price benchmark anchored to the benefit the drug brings to patients. For all of its drug assessment reports, ICER works with the patient community and clinical experts, and invites a broader public engagement by convening public meetings at which independent committees debate the report findings with the input of all stakeholders.

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