Thoughts on the link between Market Access and Real Life Patients

Reflections from PMI Masterclass – From Drug Discovery to Dispensing June 13th,  organised by the Pharmaceutical Managers Institute, sponsored by Uniphar.

By Sandra Redmond – MD, Salutem Insights

I was delighted to be a speaker at the PMI masterclass last week. I leaned on my experience in asthma research for the Asthma Society of Ireland (https://www.asthma.ie/news/easing-economic-burden-asthma), submissions to the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE) for asthma, recent work on the impact of the Health (Pricing and Supply) Act 2013 and my son Liam’s recent diagnosis and difficulties with controlling his asthma.

I began with the various Pricing Agreements and the Health (Pricing and Supply Act) 2013. These agreements and the Health Act ensure existing medicines are available at an affordable price. I think about the impact of these agreements every month when I pick up the prescription for Liam. He is prescribed salbutamol, montelukast and Seretide®. The Framework agreements and the Health Act has ensured that these medicines are in supply and has also resulted in significant price reductions-up to 80%. This in turn means that these medicines are more affordable to me, and they also keep Liam out of the Emergency Department and hospital.

The significant price reduction of these off-patented medicines also allows more space in the medicines for newer more expensive medicines. Continuing the asthma theme, I talked about the new more expensive asthma medicines that Liam may need such as mepolizumab and dupilumab. I brought the audience through the reimbursement process for these new medicines, the submissions required (Rapid Review and Health Technology Assessment), key consideration in a HTA (relative effectiveness, cost effectiveness, budget impact and clinical need), the price negotiations and the relevant stakeholders. I highlighted that the most important stakeholder in the process is the patient, in my example my ten year old son.

It has been a difficult year with Liam and his asthma. I am so grateful that he has access to these lifesaving medicines and there is a highly regarded and rigorous process (albeit not perfect) in place to ensure that he can access new medicines. I am also grateful to patient organisations such as the Asthma Society of Ireland, another key stakeholder in the process, who have provided valuable support to us this year.

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To read the Easining the Economic Burden of Asthma report we supported the Asthma Society of Ireland develop, click here: Easing the Ecomonic Burden of Asthma