Value Based Pricing (VBP)

Value-based pricing (VBP), also known as a value-optimized pricing, is a strategy that sets prices based on the perceived or estimated value of a product or service to customers rather than on the cost of production or historical prices.

Key points about value-based pricing include:

– Customer-Centric Approach: VBP focuses on the value a product or service provides to customers, aligning prices with the benefits perceived by the end-users.

– Healthcare Application: In the healthcare industry, there is a growing demand for drug prices to reflect their actual value to patients. This is facilitated by advancements in targeted and individualized therapies, which can offer more precise treatments.

– UK Initiative: Around 2010, the UK proposed a VBP approach for the NHS, which aimed to incorporate factors beyond effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. These factors included the societal burden of illness, unmet medical needs, the innovativeness of the drug, and its broader social benefits. The goal was to negotiate drug prices directly based on these comprehensive criteria.

– Challenges and Evolution: The initial VBP proposal in the UK faced difficulties in implementation and was eventually set aside in favor of the broader concept of ‘value-based healthcare’. This broader approach still aims to align healthcare costs with the value provided but through a more holistic view.

– Renewed Interest: Recently, there has been interest in ‘indication-based pricing’, which acknowledges that the value of a drug may vary depending on its use in different contexts or populations (e.g., different types of cancer). However, this approach has not yet been widely implemented in healthcare systems.


– Alignment with Patient Outcomes: Ensures that prices reflect the actual benefits received by patients, promoting fair and efficient use of resources.

– Encourages Innovation: Incentivizes manufacturers to develop treatments that provide significant value to patients.

– Holistic Evaluation: Considers a broader set of factors, potentially leading to more balanced and socially beneficial pricing decisions.


– Operational Complexity: Determining the precise value of a product to patients and society can be complex and subjective.

– Implementation: Achieving consensus on value metrics and integrating VBP into existing pricing frameworks can be difficult.

Value-based pricing aims to create a more patient-centered and efficient healthcare system by tying drug prices to the value they provide, though practical challenges remain in fully realizing this approach.