The drugmaker is taking the unusual step of giving government healthcare systems a say in deciding which drugs advance in its research pipeline, a move it hopes will result in more products these customers will pay for,The Wall Street Journal writes.
Glaxo's new ceo, Andrew Witty, tells the paper the effort is part of his drive to adapt as rising prices have prompted insurers, governments and other payers to tighten their belts. "I'm going to deal with the pharmaceutical realities of the next 10 years, and they're very different from those of the 1990s," Witty says in an interview at a company townhouse in London.
Knowing the preferences of state health-care systems, which pay for most drugs sold in Europe, could make a big difference, the paper writes. A few weeks ago, Glaxo's R&D chief invited a group of healthcare officials from the UK, France, Italy and Spain to London to examine drugs Glaxo is developing.
It "was an opportunity for us to say, 'Look, here's what the development pipeline at (Glaxo) looks like, here's what these drugs are going to be...Which one of these do you think, 'This is exactly where I would prioritize healthcare dollars?'" Witty says.
Glaxo isn't the only drugmaker attempting such a move. Novartis is running pilot projects in several US states, trying to develop closer relations with insurers. The idea is to involve payers in new-drug development, so they're being asked for feedback on experimental meds to see what sort of evidence of efficacy and value the payer would need in order to cover a drug. (Back story).
The officials were mostly looking at the drugs Glaxo is testing in small, intermediate human trials, and gave gave some "pretty blunt feedback" on which drugs to prioritize and what sort of data Glaxo would need to show to make state healthcare systems willing to buy the drugs, according to the Journal. Glaxo will change some development plans, he tells the paper, but declined to be specific.