New approaches, new solutions to ensuring access to medicines

One of the clearest lessons of the COVID-19 crisis has been the importance of medical innovation in addressing global health threats as well as our existing health challenges. Ensuring that patients get faster, more equitable access to that medical innovation is a goal we share with governments and health systems. That is why today, EFPIA published Novel Pricing and Payment Models: New solutions to improve patient access. The approaches outlined in the document are just one part of EFPIA and its member companies’ wider commitment to finding solutions wherever there are delays and barriers to patients getting access to new treatments.

Medicine is changing and in some areas it’s changing fast. We are moving from trying to mitigate the impact of the disease by managing symptoms to novel treatments that create real transformative change for patients and in some cases even cures. The previously untreatable is becoming treatable. A new generation of one-off therapies is replacing a life-time of care which has important implications for how we manage and in particular resource our healthcare, that we must address.

For health systems, this transformation can mean trying to finance a new treatment from the medicines budget, all in one year rather than funding the costs of treatment over the lifetime of the patient. The total cost to health system over time is often far less than managing the on-going care of a patient without the latest treatment but coming up with the money in one year is difficult, even impossible for health systems already under pressure from the rising demand for services and managing the fallout from the COVID-19 crisis.

The result is that health systems are deeply concerned about budget impact, clinicians are often frustrated, unable to prescribe patients the very best treatment options, companies cannot reinvest revenue in to lifesaving or life-enhancing innovation but most critically, patients living with disease are waiting for new treatments that have the power to transform their lives.
Companies, health systems and governments have a shared responsibility to patients to break this cycle. As scientific progress continues to deliver novel treatment options, new approaches, novel pricing and payments models are required to meet the needs of patients, health systems and governments.

That is why, today, we have published Novel Pricing and Payment Models: New solutions to improve patient access. The document includes a series of novel approaches including combination and indication-based pricing, outcomes based, over-time and subscription payments. When used appropriately and tailored to specific situations and uncertainties, these novel pricing and payment models can accelerate patient access, allowing payers to manage clinical uncertainty, budget impact and sustainability of the healthcare system, whilst providing sufficient incentives for innovation.

Although there are examples of novel pricing and payment models being used today, the lack of best practice sharing, of appropriate data infrastructure as well as legal barriers and an unwillingness to adapt current systems often prevent their wider use. To help address these barriers, the document includes a set of guiding principles regarding the use of novel pricing and payment models to support their wider implementation across Europe.

The co-creation and adoption of novel pricing and payments models is one tool to help address delays and barriers to access. By taking a more holistic, inclusive approach, by creating a High-Level Forum on Better Access to Health Innovation we believe that we can can identify multi-stakeholder solutions to introducing new health technologies that can broaden access, reduce delays and mitigate the impact of shortages. This collaborative dialogue should be evidence-based, building our collective understanding of the root causes and drivers of access and supply issues.

EFPIA and our member companies are fully committed to working with the EU institutions and Member States to ensure faster more equitable access to medicines across Europe.


Nathalie Moll

Nathalie Moll joined the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) as Director...
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