Words by GOLD newsdesk
Member companies of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) have pledged to file for pricing and reimbursement in all EU countries no later than two years from central EU market authorisation, where local systems permit it. This is considered to be a necessary step in reducing inequalities in patient access to medicines across Europe.
This commitment comes off the back of new data published by EFPIA that showed significant and increasing disparities in the time it takes for patients to access new medicines across different EU Member States. For example, in Germany the wait time is around 133 days, whereas in Romania this was around 899 days.
Smaller and Eastern European Member States are also facing disparities in terms of availabilities in innovative medicines. Less than 30% of centrally approved products are available in these countries, compared 92% availability in countries such as Germany.
EU drug approval is largely centralised and under the control of the European Medicines Agency. However, procedures to set treatment prices for individual national health systems remain in the hands of member states, which creates room for the large disparities currently seen.
The commitment is expected to drastically increase the accessibility of innovative drugs in EU countries and lessen wait times for patients by several months.
Speaking about the launch of the new commitment, EFPIA Director General Nathalie Moll commented that it will allow for greater transparency to the barriers and delays to access, the creation of an equity-based pricing system and boost efficiencies across Europe. “We believe that together we can create a step-change in the access landscape for patients across Europe,” she added.