In a column published in USA Today recently, Jeff Stier, a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, sheds light on the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER). Stier points out the group’s fundamentally-flawed (and possibly dangerous) approach and how their reports influence which drugs are listed on your insurer’s formulary based on what those drugs will cost the insurer – rather than what’s best for you as a patient.

“…we’ve all heard stories where insurance companies won’t fully cover a drug that both the doctor and patient believe is the right medical choice. Why not? It’s pretty simple: the insurance companies don’t want to pay.

“As cutting edge drugs come to market, insurance companies are scrambling to find ways to justify not paying for them.”

Stier also notes the implications of such a board in the broader healthcare system. He compares it to Great Britain’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which has outsized influence in determining which medicines the government will cover in the country’s single-payer system. In fact, it was created by politicians who didn’t want to be in charge of rationing care in their single-payer system and were looking for an “objective” scapegoat.

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About the Author

Jim joined BIO as President & CEO in 2005 after representing the eighth district of Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives for six terms.  He had worked with BIO while in Congress on stem cell research and other health issues, and has since learned so much about the many applications of the science in food and agriculture and in industrial and environmental biotechnology.