Background: Drug costs have risen rapidly in the last decade, driving third-party payers to adopt performance-based agreements that provide either a discount before payment or an ex post reimbursement on the basis of treatments effectiveness and/or safety issues. Objectives: This article analyses the strategies currently approved in Italy and proposes a novel model called "success fee" to improve payment-by-result schemes and to guarantee patients rapid access to novel therapies. Methods: A review of the existing risk-sharing schemes in Italy has been performed, and data provided by the Italian National report (2012) on drug use have been analyzed to assess the impact on drug expenditure deriving from the application of "traditional" performance based strategies since their introduction in 2006. Results: Such schemes have poorly contributed to the fulfillment of the purpose in Italy, producing a trifling refund, compared with relevant drugs costs for the National Health System : 121 million out of a total of 3696 million paid. The novel risk-sharing agreement called "success fee" has been adopted for a new high-cost therapy approved for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, pirfenidone, and consists of an ex post payment made by the National Health System to the manufacturer for those patients who received a real benefit from treatment Conclusions: "Success fee" represents an effective strategy to promote value-based pricing, making available to patients a rapid access to innovative and expensive therapies, with an affordable impact on drug expenditure and, simultaneously, ensuring third-party payers to share with manufacturers the risk deriving from uncertain safety and effectiveness. (C) 2015 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR).
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