Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The European Union Pharmaceutical forum far from consensus

The EU high-level pharmaceutical forum still has a long way to go before tabling a consensus on the structural changes needed to improve competitiveness of the European pharmaceutical industry.

RELATED: * 'Member states want to block any change on pharmaceuticals'

The High Level Pharmaceutical Forum was established in June 2005 to examine the competitiveness of the EU's pharmaceutical industry and related public-health issues. It examines drugs pricing policies in member states to determine a balance between controlling expenditure, improving access to medicines and rewarding innovation.

The forum continues the work of the G10 Medicines Group on three issues: information to patients, relative effectiveness and pricing/reimbursement.

The High Level Pharmaceutical Forum published a progress report in its first meeting on 29 September 2006. The report describes the progress done on the three areas and gives directions for future work in the form of conclusions. None of the working groups has as yet achieved real results and much remains to be discussed before the forum is expected to deliver concrete results in June 2007.

The Information to patients working group has made the most progress since it was established in January 2006. Its work has concentrated on developing a 'model information package' on diseases using diabetes as an example, and on improving patient access to quality health information in all EU languages.

The working group on Pricing/Reimbursement (control of expenditure) is encouraged, in order to make further progress, to clarify views on the value of innovation in order to establish a sound basis for further discussion between stakeholders.

The working group on Relative effectiveness (assessing the effectiveness of medicines in comparison with other treatment options) aims to improve the degree of consensus between member states on the nature of the data required to carry out cost-effectiveness and relative effectiveness assessments and on the procedure to provide these data.

To read the whole article: http://www.euractiv.com/en/health/pharmaceutical-forum-far-consensus/article-158590?Source=RSS