European Fair Pricing Network
Access to fair priced cancer medicines
With aging population and rising number of cancer cases in Europe, the expenditure on cancer medicines is growing. Lack of adequate access to both new and off-patent cancer medicines remains an issue, with high prices often cited as a main contributory factor. Furthermore, overall prices of cancer medicines continue to rise, to the extent of impairing the capacity of health systems to provide affordable, population-wide access to cancer medicines.
In response, The Dutch Cancer Society decided to unite European cancer societies and research institutes to establish the European Fair Pricing Network (EFPN). EFPN aims to secure fairer prices of cancer medicines while upkeeping the innovation pipeline and timely access for patients to promising new medicines. Through research, EFPN seeks to collect and analyse reliable European data needed to measure challenges in the current pharmaceutical markets, and to develop new ways of organising innovation and sustainable supply of effective cancer medicines. EFPN will then translate research findings into tangible political asks directed at both national and European decision-makers.
The EFPN research unit will monitor and provide information on five themes and research questions:
- Access: Which highly valuable medicines are available for specific (sub)populations?
The aim is to identify (sub)national disparities in accessibility and coverage of a list of (expected) valuable cancer medicines among European Member States. Possibly, theoretical data from clinical trials on the value of cancer medicines (e.g. survival) is differentiated from real-world data, to retrieve the actual highly valuable medicines.
- Transparency: At which (actual) price are the above medicines available?
Transparency on the supply of cancer medicines and actual prices and pricing mechanisms in the pharmaceutical market would address the need to clarify current discrepancies between relevant stakeholders on price data of cancer medicines.
- Accountability: What are the usage and expenditure trends for the above medicines?
The aim of this theme is to clearly represent consumption and expenditure trends per country for the selected cancer medicines, and to identify medicines with high budgetary and financial impacts that drive pharmaceutical spending.
- Efficacy: Is there an association between the access and availability of innovative cancer medicines and their clinical benefit?
The aim of this project is to analyze clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness per medicine, per indication, within our multi-country framework. Next, a critical appraisal on the access decisions will be elaborated.
- Innovation: Which innovative initiatives and promising business models exist to increase access and coverage and how to put them in motion?
This theme focuses on the initiatives and best practices from different stakeholders (authorities, insurance agencies, third party payers, and health care providers) to improve bargaining power in negotiation of access and coverage of cancer medicines.
The advocacy unit will translate the research findings into policy recommendations in order to shape political decisions on the European and national level. Focusing on:
- Transparency - Achieve greater bargaining power for governments in the pricing negotiations with the industry.
- Accountability - Ensure medicines (especially those resulting from publicly funded research) are available at an affordable price.
Cancer organizations from more than 10 European countries have joined EFPN:
- Netherlands (Dutch Cancer Society)
- Denmark (The Danish Cancer Society)
- Finland (The Cancer Society of Finland)
- Norway (The Norwegian Cancer Society)
- Sweden (The Swedish Cancer Society)
- Iceland (The Icelandic Cancer Society)
- Faroe Islands (The Faroese Cancer Society)
- Ireland (Irish Cancer Society)
- Belgium (Kom Op Tegen Kanker)
- Cyprus (Pasykaf - The Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients & Friends)
- Switzerland (Swiss Cancer League & Swiss Cancer Foundation)
The Netherlands Cancer Institute coordinates the research and is responsible for the financial, administrative and operational management. Other participants are the Access to Medicines Taskforce of the European Cancer League and the Organization of European Cancer Institutes (OECI). With funding and/or manpower, they make an important contribution to the objectives of EFPN.