Background: Section 114 of the 1997 US FDA Modernization Act (FDAMA) is an important vehicle for pharmaceutical companies to promote the economic value of their drugs to formulary decision makers, but little is known about how the Section has been interpreted and used.
Methods: We conducted a web-based survey of a convenience sample of 35 outcomes directors of major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. We asked them about their interpretation of, and experiences with, Section 114, as well as their views regarding the FDA’s role in the matter, and whether the advent of comparative effectiveness research (CER) will affect the use of Section 114 promotions.
Results: Of the 35 experts, 16 (46%) completed the survey. 81% stated they always or frequently consider using Section 114 when making promotional claims for drugs. 75% stated that the FDA should issue guidance on how to make such promotions to payers, especially what qualifies as healthcare economic information and competent and reliable scientific evidence. Most expected to use Section 114 to a greater extent in the future, and agreed that the increased focus on CER would increase Section 114 use.
Conclusions: The survey suggests strong awareness about Section 114 among the outcomes directors and some use of the Section for promotional purposes. It also reflects a belief that CER will increase use of Section 114 promotions, and that guidance from the FDA is needed. More clarity and, ideally, flexible interpretation from the FDA is warranted, especially given the rise of CER.