This perspective was first shared in our Weekly View e-newsletter, which summarizes the week’s most significant drug pricing news. To subscribe, click here

Some of you may be wondering – why does ICER hold public meetings?

ICER’s goal is to create a public process of determining what a “fair” price would be for a new drug – with the patient perspective serving as the guiding structure. Throughout our process, we share an ongoing dialogue about what matters to patients and what evidence is available. At the public meeting, patients help the appraisal committee hear first-hand about the true burden of their disease, what health outcomes matter most to them, if a treatment has any benefits and disadvantages that may not have been adequately captured in a clinical trial, and the broader context policymakers should consider when evaluating the fairness of a price.

All of the tensions inherent to the U.S. health system — unaffordable pricing, fears about insurers limiting patient access, clinical trials that don’t measure the outcomes that matter most to patients, and the need to incentivize R&D for truly transformative therapies are discussed in this public forum.

While often uncomfortable and never easy, this public process sure beats the alternative of having manufacturers and insurers make consequential decisions about drug pricing and access behind closed doors — without an independent view of the evidence, and without patients in the room.