Lieven Annemans

Lieven Annemans is Senior Full Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and at Ghent University, Belgium, and is specialized in the economics of health and wellbeing. Main topics of interest are the economics of health promotion, health technology assessment applied to pharma and medtech solutions, epidemiological models, financial incentives to stimulate integrated care, and the study of all factors that can improve overall well-being. He provides lectures, trainings and advice regarding health economics, Health Technology Assessment and the economics of Wellbeing. He is Past-President of ISPOR (International Society of PharmacoEconomics and Outcomes Research) and was previously advisor to the Belgian Minister of Health, as well as chairman of the Flemish health council. He received twice the Francqui Chair, a Belgian award for academic excellence. He is author or co-author of > 300 papers in peer-reviewed journals and published four books on health economics, among which “health economics for non-economists” (Pelckmans Pro, 2018).

High-value innovations in care delivery play an essential role in solving the challenges facing Europe’s health system. However, ensuring adoption and uptake of new technology solutions is far from simple. Current reimbursement and access models have served Europe well but are now reaching their limit in ensuring timely patient access to truly cutting-edge technologies and services. Therefore, it is time for innovative approaches to better integrate innovation into existing health systems. To that end, a new Value of Innovation and Partnership access model (or VIP for short) is proposed. Innovative models Let’s look at how access works today. The current approach has three main elements: regulatory approval, reimbursement and procurement. The problem is that some really innovative technological advances do not always fit neatly into existing reimbursement pathways. They may have high potential value but require additional investment or structural changes in how care is delivered. My new opinion paper, ‘Access to Medical Technology Innovations: A Proposal for a Value of Innovation and Partnership Model’ , sets out in more detail the shortcomings of the current access model. Any new model needs to find ways to reward high-value medical technology innovations; provide timely access to these innovations; and ensure that health systems are sustainable. The proposed VIP model aims to do this in a spirit of partnership between healthcare providers and innovators. It has two phases: 1) The research & innovation phase: testing and assessing safety, clinical performance and claimed benefit 2a) The health system accessibility phase: special innovation access programmes to address unanswered questions 2b) The routine usage phase: adoption of a new technology, along with reimbursement or a new finance scheme Accelerated Coverage Pathways for Innovation For most technologies, phase 1 and 2b are sufficient as they will fit into existing reimbursement systems. However, phase 2a applies to...