Patient access report reveals disparity within Europe

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Vasyl Dolmatov)
(Image: Getty/Vasyl Dolmatov)

Related tags EFPIA Patient access Europe

Patients in Southern and Eastern Europe wait on average five times as long for the same treatments as patients in Northern and Western Europe, an EFPIA report finds.

The European Commission (EC) approves medicines across the entire block of countries in the same time frame, but a report​ by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and IQVIA shows that access varies across the region.

As a result, the EFPIA’s director, Nathalie Moll, has called for the creation of an industry partnership to specifically address the issue.

In a statement, Moll said, “I believe everyone has a role to play in contributing ideas and creative thinking to how we address patient access issues while ensuring that healthcare is affordable now and sustainable in the future.”

“I believe now is the time to develop a high-level, multi-stakeholder partnership to collectively address these issues.  At EFPIA we are keen to play our part,”​ she concluded.

Rates of availability were highlighted for the years 2015-2017, with no countries in Europe having full availability to each years’ approved products.

Drugs made available

The countries that came closest to making available a full roster of available treatments were the UK, Germany, Austria, Denmark, and Italy, respectively.

Despite being two of the most populous countries covered by the EC, French citizens had access to 60% and Spain 62% of medicines approved.

Proportion of available drugs

Post-EC approval of medicine, the amount of time individual countries spent to agree patient access also varied significantly between European countries. The average number of days taken was identified to be 369 days, with Germany being the fastest to provide access at an average of 47 days and Serbia taking the longest at 969 days.

Moll identified a trend within the figures that suggested “patients in Northern and Western Europe get access to new treatments between 100 and 200 days after market authorisation has been granted. Whereas patients mainly in Southern and Eastern Europe wait between 600 and 1000 days.”

Length of patient access delay (median)

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