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EFPIA pledges to boost drug access throughout Europe

Transformative proposals from the research-based pharma industry should reduce inequalities in patient access to medicines across Europe

EU

New pledges from the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) member companies may increase the availability of innovative medicines throughout EU countries. Importantly, the measures are also set to decrease the time patients wait for new medicines by several months.

Provided that local systems allow it, EFPIA firms are now committed to file for pricing and reimbursement in all EU countries as soon as possible – no later than two years from central EU market authorisation.

The moves are partly a response to data sets published by the EFPIA last week that showed that disparities in the time it takes for patients to access new medicines in different EU member states are increasing.

Typically, patients in Germany wait 133 days to access new medicines compared to patients in Romania, who wait for 899 days. Significant disparities also occurred in terms of innovative medicines availability, with less than 30% of centrally approved products available in smaller and Eastern European member states, compared with 92% in Germany and 46% on average in the European Union.

Forecasts by IQVIA suggest that the commitment would increase the availability of medicines from 18% to 64% in several countries. Critically, the modelling also estimates that there would be a significant reduction in the time patients wait for new medicines by up to five months in several countries, such as Bulgaria, Poland and Romania.

The time between getting marketing authorisation and companies filing for pricing and reimbursement in a country, however, is just one part of the story. According to analysis by Charles River Associates, there are ten interrelated factors that cause barriers and delays in patients getting access to new medicines.

Consequently, the commitment to file is supported by the launch of an online portal where marketing authorisation holders can provide timely information regarding the processing of pricing and reimbursement applications in the EU-27 countries.

EFPIA director general Nathalie Moll, explained. “By bringing greater transparency to the barriers and delays to access, by co-creating an equity-based pricing system, by adopting an efficient system of EU assessments of relative efficacy and by sharing information on the implementation of novel pricing mechanisms, we believe that together we can create a step-change in the access landscape across Europe.”

Article by
John Pinching

13th April 2022

From: Healthcare

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