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Medicines: What’s New?

I mentioned in passing in my last post that new medicines are not necessarily innovative. This can be seen in the 2010 Report of the French National Health Authority, the “Haute Autorité de santé”.
The authority’s “Commission de la Transparence (évaluation des médicaments)” evaluates the efficacy of each medicine under two headings – the therapeutic importance of the medicine (service médical rendu or SMR) and the extent if any to which it seems to be an improvement on medicines/treatments already available (amélioration du service médical rendu or ASMR). These evaluations play an important part in decisions on re-imbursement.
Among 130 new medicines evaluated in 2010 the Committee estimated that 14 represented a large, moderate or at least slight (“faible”) therapeutic improvement on medicines or treatments already available. (Extract in original French below.)
So, on this basis, most medicines would appear to be “me-too” medicines. These may be useful up to a […]

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