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Meng Li, ScM, PhD

Faculty Starter Grant in Value Assessment and Health Outcomes Research, 2022 University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Aligning Value and Efficacy in Cancer Drugs


Rebates are discounts paid by drug manufacturers to health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers, and pharmacies after a drug is dispensed. Rebates for brand-name prescription drugs in the U.S. can be nearly half of the list price. Because data on rebates and net prices (the cost after all rebates, discounts, and fees are accounted for) were not available in the public domain until recently, most research and discussions on drug pricing and value have been based on the list prices. My research explores (1) how competition may influence list prices, net prices, and rebates of cancer drugs marketed in the U.S., and (2) whether the list and net prices of cancer drugs correlate with how well the medicines work in extending patient lives. My study seeks to provide important insights on the very complex drug pricing dynamics in the U.S. to inform the design of effective policies to improve competition and align price with value for drugs.

The PhRMA Foundation’s Research Starter Grant has been instrumental in launching my academic career. The support has allowed me to accelerate my research on prescription drug rebates, which will help me make significant contributions to our understanding of the drug pricing dynamics in the United States.