ICER Multiple Myeloma Cherry-picking Update: More People Killed

  • by: Robert Goldberg |
  • 04/08/2016
Last night the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) release its draft report “Treatment Options Relapsed or Refractory Multiple Myeloma: Effectiveness and Value.” The report can be accessed here. The draft voting questions can be found here

The bottom line results and approach confirm the wisdom of ignoring anything ICER puts out as self-serving, voodoo economics.  See Tom Philipson's excellent discussion of the shoddy short-sightedness of value frameworks here.

I also post a link to yesterday's blog with these updates: 

 ICER concludes that given that the QALY exceeds what they call the 'norm' of $150K only 1200 out of 32000 patients should be treated.   That's rationing.  And it has implications for any orphan disease (of which MM is one).   That's because in the short term, the use of these new medicines in combination will increase medical costs, not reduce them. 
Death and doing nothing is very cost effective. 

Further,  ICER is setting a trap on combination therapies.  That is, it is attempting to send off alarms about how to pay for 2-3 medicines all priced at $150K, etc.    

In my previous blog I estimated that ICER would treat only18000 patients, let 34000 people die.   ICER's draft report assumes 320000 patients of whom only 1200 would get treatment each year.  

As I predicted:  ICER didn't even try to set a price for combo therapy:

Indeed, ICER -- unlike previous studies -- refused to set a drug price because it knows that it would be absurdly low to meet it's QALY standard and would be attacked from all sides. 

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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