US Pharma Market Focus Shifting from Prescriber to Payer, Says Report

June 2, 2015

June 2, 2015.

Cost-containment measures are shifting the decision-making focus of North America’s pharmaceutical market from the prescriber to the payer, says research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company’s PharmaSphere: North American Market Access Strategy report states that the global industry is being confronted with intensified obstacles along the path to new product commercialization, with pricing and reimbursement hurdles particularly challenging for the North American market. GlobalData analyst Adam Dion commented: “While the US population is largely covered through private health insurance, public sector coverage now includes third-party administrators, dispensers, and others, further complicating the situation." At the other end of the spectrum is Canada, he said, "where the single-payer system has meant sweeping cost-containment measures and a stricter pricing and reimbursement policy, which is a challenge for pharma companies.”

While there have been continued efforts to lower spending on prescription drugs, the number of products with an annual cost totaling at least $100,000 has increased markedly over the past five years.

Dion concludes: "Despite discounts provided by manufacturers, the demand for innovative drug treatments in areas with high unmet need means that the continued influx of such therapies is likely to impact costs heavily for both insurers and patients".