We recently had a chance to catch up with Ed Schoonveld, author of 'The Price of Global Health,' Managing Principal with ZS Associates in New York, N.Y. as he's our opening key note speaker at the 6th EPP Life Sciences Pricing Forum from September 20-21, 2016 in Montreux, Switzerland
– As our opening keynote speaker at the 6th EPP Life Sciences Pricing forum how will you open up the debate?
In today’s environment it is not very hard to find interesting and controversial topics for discussion.One important topic is how we work with government and private payers to provide broad access to the flux of innovative treatments through classical pricing or more innovative pricing agreements. After some tough dialog about Hepatitis C drugs, we now are facing many discussions regarding oncology-immunology drugs and
other high cost combinations. Value and affordability are the two key words that dominate payer-industry dialog. What is the role of real world evidence in this? There are a lot of expectations around RWE, but how can we make sure that it helps demonstrate value without causing another access hurdle? Another topic that is very much in the news is US drug pricing and particularly price increases. Public uproar on Turing and now Mylan’s pricing practices create a huge issue for the broader US industry. Unfortunately, the industry has not been very effective in dealing with the issue. The matter is complex and US media and politicians prefer simple sound bites over complex truths.
– How do you see the role of pricing and access market managers evolve in the future?
The role has always been rather complex due to the many different global pricing and reimbursement systems
and the involvement of many R&D and Commercial disciplines that are involved in the decision making over a
product’s life cycle. In addition to that, it now involves an increasingly strong communication component.
Demonstrating value to payers and payer influencers and addressing funding challenges is becoming an important part of the job.
Most of the fundamental frameworks and strategies from the first edition are still highly valid today. But after four years of many changes in payer systems and some requests to add some additional topics, I thought it was time to write the second edition. What I find very interesting and rewarding is that I have received only very positive reactions to both the first and second edition of the book from all sides, including industry, payers, academics, media etc. If we could create more mutual understanding between all involved, we would be able to create a much more constructing dialog about how we can continue to bring innovative products to patients. We are not a gun or tobacco industry, but an industry with lifesaving products. There is no fundamental reason to have a controversial image such as we have today. We need to work harder and smarter at addressing this and the first step is a mutual understanding of each other’s objectives and challenges. I hope that the book is making a small contribution towards that aim.
– Will you write a 3rd edition?
The current edition just came out last year, so I hope that it still has a few years of runway! There are no
plans yet for a 3rd edition, but who knows. There is certainly always a lot to write about!
– It is the first time you’re a speaker at the EPP Life Science Pricing Forum. What are your expectations?
I hope that we have a lot of good discussion about the tough issues. I hope that we also realize that the reason
that we have many of the issues is because there is so much new opportunity in terms of new innovative products that are making it through our development pipelines. The reason why some payers are very tough on us now, is because great products are coming to patients. We now need to see how we can best provide evidence and communicate that value and at the same time find innovative solutions to the funding challenges that are really a broad societal problem. It is not that long ago that the industry was chastised over not bringing real innovation. Today’s problem is a much better one to have!
Why not join us at the forum and take part in the debate? Register here.