Recently, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), released a scoping document outlining its intentions to evaluate the cost effectiveness of drugs used to treat the autoimmune disease Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). ICER’s conclusions will be used by Medicare and insurance companies to determine coverage. In other words, the people who use your premiums pay for your prescription drugs are now deciding which drugs they will or won’t pay for, by taking ICER’s advice and using their reports as justification.
RA affects more than 1.3 million Americans, and it is one of many diseases that ICER is reviewing to determine the cost effectiveness of the drugs that doctors use to treat these conditions.
It seems like a noble mission; but only if that mission is centered on an unbiased analysis. Otherwise, much needed – and now highly effective – medicines will no longer be covered by health insurers. There has been much public discussion about prescription drug costs, but health insurance companies have managed to evade blame. Even though these middlemen produce nothing but take billions in profit from the system.