Rising drug costs in Germany led to the Act on the Reform of the Market for Medicinal Products (AMNOG) in January 2011. For new drugs, pharmaceutical companies have to submit dossiers containing all available evidence to demonstrate an added benefit versus an appropriate comparator therapy. The Federal Joint Committee (G-BA), the main decision-making body of the statutory healthcare system, is responsible for the overall procedure of "early benefit assessment". The Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) largely conducts the dossier assessments, which inform decisions by the G-BA on added benefit and support price negotiations. Of the 25 dossiers (excluding orphan drugs) assessed until 31 December 2012, 14 contained sufficient data from randomized active-controlled trials investigating patient-relevant outcomes or at least acceptable surrogates; 11 contained insufficient data. The most common indications were oncology (6) and viral infections (4). For the 14 drugs assessed, the extent of added benefit was rated as minor, considerable, and non-quantifiable in 3, 8, and 2 cases; the remaining drug showed no added benefit. Despite some shortcomings, for the first time it has been possible in Germany to implement a systematic procedure for assessing new drugs at market entry, thus providing support for price negotiations and informed decision-making for patients, clinicians and policy makers.
Keywords: (German) Act on the Reform of the Market for Medicinal Products (AMNOG); Comparative effectiveness research; Dossier assessment; Early benefit assessment; New drugs.
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