[Ip-health] Sources of prices for injectable drugs for severe illnesses

Biotech. Info. Inst. biotech at biopharma.com
Mon Nov 7 07:08:03 PST 2011

For AWPs, you can get the latest annual edition or subscribe to the print or online versions of the Red Book.  The 2010 printed version is ~$65 at Amazon (see http://www.amazon.com/Red-Book-2010-Drug-Topics/dp/1563637510).  For further information about the cost data reported, see http://www.redbook.com/redbook/awp/.  

If you need data for just a few products, the medical information departments of marketing companies can sometimes tell you either their list/published prices or officially-reported AWPs.

Companies do not make it easy to get useful price data.  Keep in mind, that most reported prices, e.g., AWPs, even though (quasi)official, are often not real, not what either middlemen, hospitals/clinics, pharmacies or consumers actually pay or the prices they pass on down the line (e.g., recent news about high markups for drugs in short supply).  If you want real and comparable, consistent consumer-level prices, you may have to get such real cost data from an insurance company, a major pharmacy chain, etc.  I recall that there are a few university-based hospitals (and likely others) that publish their drug prices online.

Otherwise, you may need to better define "market prices," e.g., are these the prices charged by manufacturers, e.g., to middlemen and large hospital systems and pharmacy chains; reported AWPs; Medicare reimbursement prices; the prices manufacturers charge gov't programs, e.g., the VA or DOD; the prices paid or charged by hospital and specialty pharmacies; the prices paid or charged by your typical community/local pharmacies; etc.?  Also, the supply chains for many pharmaceuticals for cancer and other severe illnesses can vary greatly, e.g., many biopharmaceuticals may only come from specialty or hospital pharmacies or are only purchasable directly from the manufacturer.  So, you may have problems getting consistent, comparable data for products that are distributed differently.  

Even if you get good/usable "market prices," these may not reflect the average price paid by consumers.  For example, the prices you get will not include product distributed at no cost under patient assistance programs, with figuring this in becoming more important the more expensive the product is (i.e., the products of likely most concern to KEI are likely the ones most needing this factor being taken into account).

I hope this helps.

Ronald A. Rader
Biotechnology Information Institute
1700 Rockville Pike, Suite 400
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone:  301-424-0255
E-mail:  biotech at biopharma.com
Web sites:  www.biopharma.com; www.bioinfo.com

On Nov 3, 2011, at 12:55 PM, Jamie Love wrote:

> For those who do not have access to expensive industry databases, what are
> the best ways to get market prices for injectable drugs for cancer and
> other severe illnesses?
> -- 
> James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
> http://www.keionline.org, +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040,
> Geneva Mobile: +41.76.413.6584, efax: +1.888.245.3140.  Sometimes I am
> using my MaxRoam number: +447937390810
> twitter.com/jamie_love
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