The Truth About the Drug Companies (2004)
Data from studies commissioned by the German Public Health Insurers Association (GKV) concerning 129 medications that came on the market since 2012 suggests that only about a third of new medications (44) offered across-the-board improvements over old ones. One-third of medications (44) only worked better for some patients, while the final third (41) represented no progress at all.
The data was leaked to a number of German newspapers on Wednesday and inspired sensationalist headlines, implying that more than 30 percent of new medications were useless. That's not the case. Superfluous would be the better word.
"At its core, this discussion is not about effectiveness but about the evaluation of whether drugs offer any additional benefits," Maik Pommer, press spokesman for the Federal Institute for Medications and Medical Products, told DW.
GKV deputy spokesperson Ann Marini confirmed that assessment and said that the information leaked to the press was more of an "analysis" than a full-fledged scientific study. Still, she said that the data was important
"It used to be that medication always had new on the label when it came on the market, but we didn't know whether the products were in fact any better than what was already on the market," Marini told DW. "So we've taken an enormous step forward."
That step forward is potentially bad news for pharmaceutical companies - and good news for budget managers in the German health care system. (Más)