Two drug-pricing firms combine data sets for a deeper picture on reimbursement decisions

Context Matters Inc. and IHS Markit provide analytics on pricing strategies


Discussions in the US around drug pricing tend to be focused on what price the drug mater offers and what discounts various payers demand, but in a global context, pricing is often negotiated between the maker and governmental health technology assessment (HTA) agencies. And those HTA agencies look to the competitive situation within a drug class; the clinical effectiveness of the drug and other factors in settling on a price offer. The practice of reference pricing, where one country’s drug price depends on a basket of other countries’ reimbursement decisions, also comes into play. To capture all these dynamics, two companies—Context Matters Inc. (New York) and IHS Markit (London)—are blending their respective data offerings as a combined tool called PriceCurrents.

“Pricing can be affected by many factors, ranging from clinical effectiveness, HTA reimbursement decisions, regulatory actions and many others,” says Yin Ho, president of Context Matters. “And this can be a series of events that plays out dynamically over time. Our collaboration captures these events, enabling marketing authorization holders to make informed decisions, and to forecast the effects of future events.”

Gustavo Ando, senior director at IHS Markit, adds that the US’ pricing environment, set primarily by the manufacturers themselves, is rare in the rest of the world, but in any case, pricing decisions made globally factor the US pricing in as only one of many other components. The competitive situation—other drugs on the market or about to enter—also affect HTA agencies’ decisionmaking. “Until PriceCurrents, pharma executives had very few tools to work with in making informed decisions,” he says.

PriceCurrents has been beta-tested at pharma companies who had been using both of the companies’ services; at this week’s ISPOR meeting, it is being introduced to the wider market. (The International Soc. for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research meeting is being held May 20-24 in Boston.)