Indication-based pricing (IBP) has received growing attention because of the expected increase in the number of new medicines with multiple indications. In our systematic review, we assess the potential benefits, barriers, current experiences, and future perspectives of different IBP mechanisms.
We searched publications in English, Spanish, or French assessing the impact, international experience, and future context of IBP systems on PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane, EconLit, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment from 2000 to 2020. This was complemented by a gray literature search in Google Scholar.
A total of 29 publications that specifically addressed the topic of IBP were retained. The most commonly reported benefits of IBP were a better alignment of medicines’ value and price, optimization of research and development incentives and increase of competition, and improvement of patients’ access to treatments. Data collection and proper infrastructures, and the risk of high administrative burden and associated costs, were seen as the main barriers for proper IBP implementation. International experience lacks concrete examples of IBP. A single weighted average price according to volume, value, or a combination of both, appears to be the most used methodology, followed by different confidential net prices per indication. Different brands with distinct price per indication are less common, although it is considered a pure IBP system.
Evidence of IBP impact is still scarce, and there is a need for pilot projects and experiences to monitor its real consequences. An appropriate price and reimbursement model for multi-indication medicines should be a priority, but political will and proper data collection systems remain crucial.