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Dec 19, 2005
 |  BioCentury  |  Politics, Policy & Law

IQWiG: Cholesterol doesn't count

When Germany introduced IQWiG last year as a watchdog institute within Germany's statutory healthcare system to assess novel drugs and treatments, industry voiced doubts about IQWiG's methods, its level of transparency and its objectivity. IQWiG's first published study has confirmed industry's worst expectations.

The case in point is a report on statins - "benefit assessment of statins with special consideration of atorvastatin" - which IQWiG (Institut fuer Qualitaet und Wirtschaftlichkeit im Gesundheitswesen/ Institute for Quality and Cost Effectiveness in the Healthcare System) published in September. Last month, the study was used in a court decision confirming the statutory healthcare system's decision to cut the reimbursement price for Sortis (Lipitor) atorvastatin, a patented statin marketed by Pfizer Inc. (PFE, New York, N.Y.).

Rather than sticking to the methods the institute itself published in March - which promised a certain degree of transparency when it comes...

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