As I have previously discussed, ICER’s initiative to revisit the representatitiveness and scientific validity of his QALY based assessments of drug prices and access is really a crude political makeover. The recent appointment of so-called patient and consumer advocates to his board is example of ICER advertising itself as becoming more open and patient centered when the truth is much different:
“The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) has announced the appointment of two new members to its Governance Board. Ellen Andrews, PhD and Frances Visco, JD both join the Governance Board with extensive experience in patient and consumer advocacy….
“These two leaders bring to ICER’s Governance Board tremendous skills honed through years of experience fighting for access to high-quality health care and for the evidence that patients need to participate fully in their health care decisions,” noted ICER’s President Steven D. Pearson, MD, MSc. “This is part of our long-standing plan to augment this perspective among the members of our Governance and Advisory Boards as ICER grows. I know that Ellen and Fran are superbly prepared to join with other Board members in assuring that ICER’s strategic direction and all our efforts are informed by the patient voice.”
They are superbly prepared if by preparation one means that they share Pearson’s twisted use of QALYs and budget caps to set drug prices and limit access.
Dr. Andrews was already an advisor to ICER and has written in defense of it’s current approach. She has also spouted the party line that insurance companies don’t get to vote on ICER decisions (they just fund the organization).
She has also written favorably about Canadian drug price controls and was part of a working group tasked with finding ways states and provinces could could control drug prices.