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Events: World Pharma Pricing and Market Access Congress 2019

April 8, 2019

Last month, Directors Brett Gardiner and Rachel Howard attended the World Pharma Pricing and Market Access Congress in Amsterdam. This two-day event was attended by over 600 delegates, including a number of payers from Europe, the US and Latin America, plus representatives from the industry and other market access organizations.

In the morning plenary sessions, we heard a range of perspectives on value, demonstrating that “value is in the eye of the beholder”. A major focus was the new challenges facing Health
TechnoloWorld pharma pricing and market access congress 2019gy Assessment (HTA) organizations in view of the expanding pipeline of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) such as cell and gene therapy. There was much discussion about how these products, with their high upfront costs and inherent limitations will necessitate the creation of a new access model. To allow negotiations to move forward and ensure more timely access to patients, we need to look at using innovative payment models such as outcomes-based contracting and find ways of addressing uncertainty.

Another important topic of the plenary sessions centered on how pharma can better capture and quantify the dimensions of value that really matter to patients, in a way that also resonates with HTAs. It was felt that additional methods, beyond Patient-Reported Outcomes (PROs), are perhaps needed to characterize less tangible aspects of patients’ quality of survival. 

The conference also offered us the opportunity to participate in roundtable discussions. Brett participated in a session about innovative contracting and one which talked about how to include the voice of the patient in the reimbursement process. Rachel looked into the opportunities and challenges for market access in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs), and explored the issue of pricing competition from launch to loss of exclusivity. A common theme that recurred throughout these discussions was the need to engage early and foster an open dialogue between stakeholders.

After a networking lunch catching up with connections old and new, we were able to choose from a number of parallel tracks that included a series of presentations on a range of topics from biosimilars to big data.

Brett followed the pricing track, which included an update on International Reference Pricing, notably the implications of the IPI (International Pricing Index) for US Medicare market access. He also joined sessions on the latest developments in managed entry agreements for ATMP / CAR-T and updates on reimbursement and HTA in Asia Pacific, concluding with a session on medical drug management from the perspective of a US payer.

Rachel joined the emerging markets and affordability tracks, which explored ways to expand access to wider populations in the context of sustainable arrangements that balance the need to reward innovation with the issue of ability to pay. These sessions also brought her up to speed with the latest updates on the evolving market access policy dynamics in China, the Middle East and North Africa.

Across geographies, phase of development and product type (from vaccines to medical devices to ATMPs), one of our key takeaways from the conference was the potential to achieve win-win access solutions through greater collaboration between payers, HTAs, pharma and patients – a common goal to work towards.

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