German model for drug price regulation may be good for U.S.

A five-year-old drug price regulatory system in Germany may be a good model for the U.S. to consider to tackle its own problem with unaffordable prescription drug prices, according to experts from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The German model—called AMNOG (the Act to Reorganize Pharmaceuticals Market in the Statutory Health Insurance System)—“has performed admirably,” wrote Karl Lauterbach, adjunct professor, John McDonough, professor of the practice of public health, and Elizabeth Seeley, adjunct lecturer, all in Harvard Chan School’s Department of Health Policy and Management, in the Health Affairs Blog on December 29, 2016. After AMNOG’s establishment, the average annual growth rate in public pharmaceuticals expenditure per capita between 2009 and 2013 in Germany was -0.7%, as compared with +2.7% in the U.S.

The German model rewards truly innovative drugs; provides immediate access to new drugs while their clinical benefits are assessed; uses non-governmental, non-profit organizations to review new medications; and determines prices based on clear evidence of clinical benefits to patients and through negotiations with drug companies and key stakeholders.

“If the U.S. wants to create an evidence and value-based system to pay for prescription drugs, we could not start at a better place than emulating the AMNOG model,” the authors wrote.

Read the Health Affairs blog: Germany’s Model For Drug Price Regulation Could Work In The US

Learn more

Most Americans support government action to keep drug prices down (Harvard Chan School release)

Drug Pricing: Public Health Implications (The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)