Every Day Counts
Improving time to patient access to innovative oncology therapies in Europe Executive Summary
Unequal access to innovation in oncology The unprecedented speed of innovation in oncology provides an important opportunity for further improvement of outcomes for cancer patients. Yet, no value is derived from innovation if patients for whom a new therapy is intended cannot have access to it. In fact, tremendous differences exist in patient access to innovative oncology treatments across European countries. Access to new oncology therapies varies significantly from country to country on three dimensions of access:
- Out of all oncology therapies with a European marketing authorisation, the proportion of therapies that receive Market Access, i.e. are reimbursed through social health insurance schemes, ranges from as low as 7% to as high as 98%.
- After receipt of a European marketing authorisation, the time to Market Access ranges from as low as 86 to almost 1,000 days.
- After twelve months of formal reimbursement, the relative level of Patient Access ranges from as low as 22% to as high as 81%.
These differences undermine the ambition to promote equal access to healthcare and indicate opportunities for improvement.
A multi-stakeholder approach
This report represents the collective thinking of a group of over 30 organisations, covering health technology assessment (HTA) bodies, healthcare professional associations, patient organisations, policy makers, former politicians, payers and pharmaceutical companies concerned about timely and equal access throughout Europe. The aim is to bring stakeholders across Europe together around opportunities to improve time to patient access for innovative, value-adding oncology therapies. It focuses on the dimensions of time to Market Access and Patient Access.
To start, stakeholders aligned on gathering information through:
- Six country case studies to identify delaying factors, solution areas and best practices.
- A benchmark analysis to compare patient access after twelve months of reimbursement in ten European countries.
- A mapping of the differences in evidence requirements in the six case study countries.
- An analysis of the health gains that can be achieved if time to market access was reduced.
The findings were reviewed and discussed over a series of multi-stakeholder sounding board meetings that allowed for combining different perspectives and providing a comprehensive and unbiased overview of challenges and areas in which joint action is needed.
For patients, every day counts
During reimbursement discussions, time to market access can become an abstract objective. Whereas for patients, every day counts.
Two case studies on different oncology therapies are presented in the report to show the actual impact of reducing delays in reimbursement decision-making and hence the time it takes for patients to access new therapies. The analysis illustrates the number of patients that could have been treated and the improved quality of life they could have gained if access timelines were shortened. These two case studies serve as a reminder of our common objectives and the urgency of addressing delays where possible.