NHS England has recently published draft proposals on how it plans to approach doing commercial deals with pharmaceutical companies for branded medicines. This draft “Commercial Framework” is now open for comment and consultation (stakeholders can submit their views here). The consultation period ends on 10 January 2020, with Commercial Framework expected to be finalized
This article was originally posted on our sister blog Global Policy Watch
Health technology assessment (“HTA”) is a multidisciplinary assessment process that seeks to evaluate the added therapeutic value of health technologies (i.e., drugs, certain medical devices, medical treatments including surgical procedures, and measures for disease prevention and diagnosis) based on both clinical and non-clinical elements. Until now, HTA has strictly fallen in the purview of EU Member States; they have cooperated among themselves in this field for more than 20 years on a purely voluntary basis. This has led to initiatives such as EUnetHTA, which is a network of national HTA bodies, and its various Joint Actions. Article 15 of the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive (Directive 2011/24) also provides for that national bodies responsible for HTA should cooperate on a voluntary basis. Gradually, these various actions have developed common criteria for the performance of HTA at national level. For example, the last “Joint Action 3” of EUnetHTA seeks to define common assessment methodologies, develop common ICT tools, and conduct and produce joint clinical assessments and HTA reports.
EU Member States have acknowledged the significant role that HTA plays and called on the European Commission to continue to support such initiatives (see, e.g., Council conclusions of December 6, 2014, on innovation for the benefit of patients). However, in a resolution of March 2, 2017, the European Parliament went a step further and called on the Commission to propose legislation on health technology assessment at the EU level to provide transparent and harmonized criteria to evaluate the added therapeutic value of drugs and other health technologies.
Continue Reading The Commission’s Proposal on Health Technology Assessment – Will the EU Member States Accept its Mandatory Provisions?
The European Commission (the Commission) confirmed on 27 March 2015 that a German scheme exempting pharmaceutical companies from mandatory rebates is in line with EU State aid rules. The Commission concluded that the scheme facilitated price freezes on certain medicines, which in turn allows the costs of the public health system to be kept under control.
Council Directive 89/105/EEC allows Member States to introduce price freezes on pharmaceutical products. Article 4(2) of the Directive states that derogations from price freezes can be justified for “particular reasons”. Based on these provisions, Germany introduced a mandatory manufacturer’s rebate of 16% on certain prescription medicines sold to public sickness funds and private health insurers between 1 August 2010 and 31 December 2013. Also, under the Article 4(2) exemption, Germany set up a system of derogations for companies whose financial viability would be threatened by the rebate.
Continue Reading German Exemptions from Mandatory Rebates for Pharma Companies Are in Line with EU State Aid Rules
A call for expression of interest addressed to healthcare product developers who would be interested in engaging in early dialogues (EDs) with Health Technology Assessment (HTA) bodies was launched in December 2013 and will stay open until October 2014. The call concerns developers of both medicinal products and medical devices.
The European Commission defines HTA as a means to assess the ways science and technology are used in healthcare and disease prevention. It covers medical, social, economic, and ethical issues and provides policy-makers with objective information, so they can formulate health policies that are safe, effective, patient-focused and cost-effective. According to the Commission, HTA should be transparent, unbiased, robust and systematic, firmly rooted in research and the scientific method.
Continue Reading Call for expression of interest to participate in early dialogue between HTA bodies and healthcare product developers