2021: Commercialization in health care – time for health economic evaluations?

How much market can the healthcare system tolerate? How much can curing a disease, prolonging life or alleviating symptoms cost? How expensive can a new drug be? Where does Germany's aversion to health economic evaluations come from? And how can the patient perspective be incorporated into health economic evaluations? These questions are not new. But they arise all the more in times when prices that could overwhelm the financial capacity of the German healthcare system in the foreseeable future are being charged for certain treatments.

Health economic evaluations can provide information on whether the reimbursement of costs by the health insurance funds is appropriate and reasonable. "To date, however, we in the German healthcare system have shied away from the debate about how expensive a treatment may be in relation to the benefit it achieves," says IQWiG Director Jürgen Windeler at the IQWiG Autumn Symposium 2021. Why this is so, what a balancing of costs and benefits might look like, and how other countries are dealing with rapidly rising healthcare costs was discussed by participants in Cologne on 26 November.

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