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High time for new and affordable medicines

Getting innovative medicines to patients more quickly, at a socially acceptable price. That was the aim of the expert meeting ‘Innovation for the benefit of the patient’ being held in Amsterdam on 1 and 2 March. 

The Europe Building is the venue where experts will meet to consider the potential and prerequisites for flexible market access with early agreements on the price of innovative medicines.

Bringing together over 100 experts

At the Europe Building in central Amsterdam, Dutch health minister Edith Schippers is hosting a gathering of over 100 experts in pharmaceutical market authorisation, reimbursement and pricing policy. Representatives of the World Health Organization are also attending the conference.

Expensive medication could make care unaffordable

The innovative medicines currently on the market include complex cancer drugs and treatment for small groups of seriously ill people. These drugs improve the patients’ quality of life or cure them completely. The downside is that the treatments are often incredibly expensive and therefore potentially unaffordable. In addition, current regulations require that new medicines be trialled by large groups of patients in order to test their effectiveness. For pharmaceuticals tailored to small patient groups, this is problematic.

Making the system future-proof

The system needs to be made future-proof, not only in the interests of patients, doctors and people who pay insurance premiums, but also of pharmaceutical manufacturers. After all, if their products become unaffordable, it will mean the end of health care. This is why seriously ill patients need access to innovative medicines. In addition, the regulations for authorising these products need to be more flexible and the high prices of pharmaceuticals require scrutiny.

Patient access to innovative medicines

The conference is seeking to answer three questions. First, which products should receive early authorisation? Second, which requirements or standards should they meet? And third, how can we ensure that patients have access to innovative treatments that might not qualify for registration or reimbursement in the current system?

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