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From our Expert Voices conversation on drug pricing.

Innovative drugs like Kymirah deserve innovative reimbursement contracts – paying for value, not by the pill. Novartis is embracing that adage, and offering to waive the drug's $475,000 fee for patients who don't respond.

That's great, but we're not just paying for medicines. Bundled payments for all oncology-associated care (including hospital, ER costs, and physician visits) linked to patient outcomes can encourage providers and drug companies to collaborate — and compete— on delivering the best outcome for each patient as efficiently as possible.

Kymirah can make a great test case for this approach. Treatment centers that specialize in gene and cellular therapies can work with Novartis and other companies to build detailed patient registries that help oncologists use "real-world data" on what really happens to patients — and why — to improve outcomes while reducing unnecessary costs and avoidable side effects. We already take a similar approach with patient registries and bundled payments for organ transplants.

The bottom line: An outcomes-based payment system can help us put more patients' cancers into remission for longer periods of time – with fewer wasted treatments, and less need for follow on therapies. That's greater value for every dollar we spend on cancer care.

Other voices in the conversation:

  • Greg Aune, pediatric oncologist, Greehey Children's Cancer Research Institute: Value isn't just about surviving cancer
  • David Mitchell, president and founder, Patients for Affordable Drugs: Drugs don't work if people can't afford them
  • Usman Azam, president & CEO, Tmunity Therapeutics: How to evaluate breakthrough therapies
  • Austin Frakt, health economist, Department of Veterans Affairs, Boston University and Harvard University: The public should have a say in what a drug is worth

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.

Jan. 6 committee recommends contempt charges against Bannon

Steve Bannon. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night recommending that former Trump aide Steve Bannon be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena.

Why it matters: The resolution sets up a House vote to refer Bannon for potential criminal prosecution, signaling that the committee will not tolerate attempts by former President Trump and his associates to stymie the investigation.