Health technology assessment-informed pricing negotiation in China: higher negotiated price for more effective targeted anticancer medicines?
Abstract Background In China, health technology assessment (HTA) has recently been adopted in pricing negotiation for medicine listing in the National Reimbursement Drug List. At present, how HTA is applied to inform the decision-making process remains underreported. In order to explore how the adoption of HTA was translated into listing and price negotiation results in light of the confidential nature of the negotiating process, this study aimed to compare the negotiated price and the clinical benefit of selected targeted anticancer medicines (TAMs) involved in the 2019 negotiation. Main text Among 16 TAMs successfully negotiated, only four TAMs representing four indication groups had appropriate reference medicines for comparison and were, therefore, included in the analysis. The price and clinical benefit of the four TAMs were compared against one or two reference medicines with the same initial indications. The sales prices for nine TAMs before and after the negotiation were extracted from the centralized medication procurement system. Clinical benefits were evaluated based on evidence from published articles and clinical guidelines. The results suggested that, despite the application of HTA, both rational and irrational decisions had been made about the reimbursement of TAMs in the 2019 negotiation, warranting further investigation. Conclusion While the development and adoption of HTA has seen significant progress in China, actions are needed to ensure that the adoption of HTA is effectively applied in decisions on the reimbursement of medicines.