Many drugs have no extra benefits for many patients

A new study of recently introduced drugs in Germany finds that many of the drugs confer no appreciable benefit relative to existing drugs:

Between 2011 and 2017, IQWiG assessed 216 drugs entering the German market following regulatory approval, they explain. Almost all of these drugs were approved by the European Medicines Agency for use throughout Europe.

Yet only 54 (25%) were judged to have a considerable or major added benefit. In 35 (16%), the added benefit was either minor or could not be quantified. And for 125 drugs (58%), the available evidence did not prove an added benefit over standard care in the approved patient population.

The situation is particularly shocking in some specialties, they add. For example, in psychiatry/neurology and diabetes, added benefit was shown in just 6% (1/18) and 17% (4/24) of assessments, respectively.

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