PHAR’s Study Finds that Drug Sales Predictions are Overestimated by Billions of Dollars

A new PHAR study compared predictions of health care costs made prior to the introduction of new drugs to the actual sales of the drugs. Fourteen drugs were examined: two cholesterol lowering drugs; three drugs to treat various forms of cancer; three for hepatitis C; two for obesity management; and one each for cystic fibrosis, heart failure, psoriasis, and diabetes. In many cases, sales predictions were dramatically overestimated, sometimes by billions of dollars. In one example, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) predicted the one-year cost of the two PCSK9 inhibitors would be $7.2 billion. Based on the initial quarters of reported sales, PHAR found that the actual number will be closer to $83 million, an overestimate of $7.1 billion. Asked to comment on the findings, Dr. Broder said, “Overestimating drug costs by so much cannot lead to good decision making… it is likely that patients feel the negative effects of such predictions in the form of early access restrictions and higher copayments.” More details about the study are available here.