As the national debate over prescription drug pricing reaches a fever pitch, drug manufacturers bringing new products to market face unique challenges. From the threats of political oversight and media scrutiny to academic guesstimates on the value of these products, the current environment for bringing breakthrough treatments to market is marked by unprecedented scrutiny. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in the burgeoning world of cost-effectiveness analysis.
In this exercise, health care researchers rely on a variety of data to try to quantify how much a treatment extends life and improves health. The result of cost-effectiveness analyses is often a threshold — or a range of prices — at which researchers believe the treatment would be worth paying for.