Whilst a new political agenda is being set in the European Union, on the health policy side there are also developments at national level, specifically within country clusters of voluntary collaboration between European healthcare systems. This is where a strong driving force from national governments could have a major impact on the current modus operandi, striking the balance between decision-makers and pharmaceutical companies in pricing & reimbursement negotiations.
“Emerging voluntary cooperation between European healthcare systems: Are we facing a new future?”, is an article written by Hanover’s healthcare policy and market access experts, which has just been published in Market Access @ Point of Care, a journal which focuses on delivering high quality peer-reviewed articles and scholarly comment on access to medicine.
The link to access the article is here: https://bit.ly/2Xp8KCo
In recent months, all eyes have been fixed on the EU institutional reshuffle. The number of manifestos published by different stakeholders is countless. Some of them are calling for healthcare to become a priority for the new European Parliament and European Commission.
On 26 May, EU citizens made their choice – the conservative European People’s Party will remain the largest group in the new European Parliament, having won 180 seats out of 751 but the composition of the European Parliament has changed significantly. What does this mean for the future of health policy in the European Union? The most important subject linked to healthcare that was raised by political parties during the elections was access to healthcare, including access to medicines (see the analysis of EP elections results here).
In the meantime, Members of the Council – national governments – were moving forward with initiatives to tackle the problem of equal and fast access to medicines, the sustainability of healthcare systems and value-based healthcare. A WHO Resolution on pricing transparency was adopted on 28 May 2019, introduced by the Italian government and supported by other signatories of the Valetta Declaration. In April 2019, Bruno Bruins, the Dutch Minister of Health, and party to the BeNeLuxA collaboration, called for a rebalancing of ‘big pharma’ and patient interests, specifically asking for a reduction of the market exclusivity period for orphan medicinal products.
Voluntary cooperation between European healthcare systems in medicines can bring concrete benefits for countries and for patients. By interviewing people who are directly leading the voluntary cooperation in countries, in our peer-reviewed article, we bring more clarity to the current state of play in voluntary cooperation and unpack the challenges that countries and companies are facing in moving the joint process forward. In particular, the potential short and long-term outcomes and consequences for medicine assessment in participating countries have been presented.