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"The Price of Global Health" Tackles Worldwide Drug-Pricing Debate
Date:11/21/2014

EVANSTON, Ill., Nov. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Heated dialogue in recent months about the rising cost of prescription drug prices – from cancer treatments to Gilead's new hepatitis C drug Harvoni® – has consumers, legislators and pharmaceutical leaders around the world questioning what it means to put a price on patient treatment and quality of care.

And while drug pricing is one of the most debated aspects of the pharmaceutical industry – from both a general business and ethical standpoint – it is also the least understood.

To help navigate the complex pricing process and its implications for payers, physicians and patients, global drug pricing expert Ed Schoonveld provides a detailed resource in his newest book, "The Price of Global Health: Drug Pricing Strategies to Balance Patient Access and the Funding of Innovation" (second edition) (Gower Publishing; 2015; Hardcover). Schoonveld, who leads the market access and pricing practice at sales and marketing consulting firm ZS, updated this valued and unique book for those interested in the development, funding and use of prescription drugs.

"There is a pressing need for innovative drug development today as the growing line of Ebola, cancer and HIV patients wait for a solution," said Schoonveld. "This is also why the pricing of these solutions incites strong emotions from the general public, protests from the payer/provider community and passionate endorsement from drug manufacturers who are pressed to prove the true value of their innovations. The second edition of my book is intended to give key stakeholders the perspective they need to find a balance between drug value and affordability."

The Most Comprehensive Book on Global Pharmaceutical Pricing and Market Acces s Available Today"The Price of Global Health" offers a thorough and easy to understand exploration of the drug pricing process in a complex payer environment. Similar to the first edition, Schoonveld's insights in this new book help the general public, legislators, pharmaceutical leaders and market access and pricing professionals better understand how drug companies make drug development and pricing decisions. The book also includes brand new chapters on payer value story development, oncology and other specialty drugs and payer negotiations. In addition, every chapter has been updated with current examples and illustrations.

"In all my years of consulting – which include serving as a leader of global market access and pricing functions at Wyeth, Eli Lilly and Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb – I have never seen the political and public squabble of this topic reach such heights as it has this past year. Widespread epidemics and rising death rates have intensified, not abated, the big 'drug pricing debate' in the three years since I wrote the first edition," said Schoonveld.

"Take, for example, October's price announcements for Gilead's breakthrough hepatitis C medication, Harvoni®. The $94,500 charge for a standard, 12-week treatment schedule caused an uproar among specialists, patients and payers alike. The drug's medical value is not contested, but what is contested is how it impacts budgets of government and private payers and how its high co-payments are not affordable for some patients."

Anti-cancer drugs face similar criticisms. For example, in an article in Blood: Journal of the American Society of Hematology from April 2013, U.S. hematologists criticized the drug industry for its high unsustainable prices for chronic myeloid leukemia drugs, such as $138, 000 per year for ponatinib. In another instance, pharmaco Sanofi reduced the price of its colon cancer drug Zaltrap® by half in 2012 after a well-known cancer center, Sloan-Kettering, rejected the drug due to its price. In fact, with cancer drug prices so widely scrutinized overall, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) launched an initiative this summer that pressures pharmacos to rethink oncology prescription drug prices.

Beyond the U.S., governments in France, Germany, Italy and the U.K. have intervened, called for greater transparency in pricing practices and demanded companies provide strong evidence to support a drug's cost based on the value it delivers by way of improved prognosis, better disease management and quality of life. 

"The second edition is designed to address these current events and their implications on the pharmaceutical industry, as well as help all stakeholders – from healthcare professionals and policy makers to the broader public – understand this complex topic," said Schoonveld.

Specifically the second edition of "The Price of Global Health" explores current changes within 13 key healthcare systems around the world, from the Affordable Care Act in the U.S. to the AMNOG (also known as the Pharmaceuticals Market Reorganization Act) in Germany.

The book will help answer general questions on global drug pricing, including:

  • How are drug prices set and what does it mean for patients?
  • Why do governments increasingly get involved, and what is their impact on the global competitive environment?
  • How can a life-saving industry have a poorer image than gun and tobacco industries, whose products are associated with death?
  • How should pharmaceutical companies adjust their corporate strategies to ensure survival in the transforming competitive environment?
  • "Ed's renovation of his first book comes at a critical time for this industry," said Pratap Khedkar, managing principal for the global pharmaceuticals practice at ZS. "His insights will help a wide range of audiences gain a better understanding of this highly complex and emotionally-charged field, and hopefully mediate the discussion among parties who may have conflicting interests."

    "The Price of Global Health" second edition will be available on Amazon.com in January 2015. For more details, visit ZS's webpage: http://bit.ly/1u5KAFP.About the Book Title:

    The Price of Global Health: Drug Pricing Strategies to Balance Patient Access and the Funding of Innovation (second edition)Author: 

    Ed SchoonveldPublisher 

    Gower PublishingPub. Date: 

    January 2015List Price: 

    $149.95Pages: 

    464ISBN: 

    9781472438805Website: 

    http://bit.ly/1u5KAFP About the Author
    Ed Schoonveld is a managing principal at ZS in New York, N.Y., and is the leader of ZS's Market Access and Pricing practice. Ed is one of the leading experts in global pharmaceutical pricing and market access. He has unparalleled experience, having served as head of global market access and pricing functions at Wyeth, Lilly and BMS, and as a consulting leader at Cambridge/IMS and a number of other organizations . Ed holds an M.S. degree from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and an M.B.A. from the Anderson School of Management at the University of California at Los Angeles.

    About ZS
    ZS is a global leader in sales and marketing consulting, outsourcing, technology and software. For more than 30 years, ZS has helped companies across a range of industries get the most out of their sales and marketing organizations. From 21 offices around the world, ZS experts use analytics and deep expertise to help companies make smart decisions quickly and cost effectively. ZS comprises multiple affiliated legal entities. Learn more at: www.zsassociates.com.

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