Health Economist Austin Frakt in a column says the public has a right to play an active role in drug-pricing discussions.
“Setting a ‘fair price’ for a new drug is challenging but not impossible,” Frakt writes. “Because we confer to manufactures of new drugs a time-limited monopoly, the public has a legitimate claim to participating in the price-setting process.”
One of the larger obstacles to public participation to that degree, Frakt writes, is little transparency, leading to “some aspects of it … (being) hidden from view.”
Frakt touted the Institute for Clinical and Economic’s drug pricing recommendation process, which also takes into account public opinion.
“The bottom line: If nothing else, a price for a monopoly drug will not widely be accepted as ‘fair’ if it is arrived at in secret,” Frakt says.