VBAP

We know innovative medical technologies are essential to addressing the unmet needs of patients and health systems. In fact, no other industry brings as many innovations to market in Europe as the medical technology sector. However, we also know that payers and manufacturers sometimes face a dilemma when it comes to patient access to promising innovations. Payers want value for money, but defining value is not easy. They often face uncertainty about the clinical and economic outcomes that new technologies will deliver and, as more is known about an innovation through further clinical studies and real-world use, the perceived value of medical technologies can and often does change over time. This makes it difficult to evaluate the likely return on investment. It’s a Catch 22: more evidence is needed if products are to be reimbursed, but evidence can only be gathered if patients have access. Showing the value that is directly linked to a medical technology is often not straight forward either. Procedures in which medical technologies are used are multi-factorial, and clinical trials are generally complex and expensive to set up and it is often unclear if and how they inform decision making of the payers. Next to that we deal with relatively short product lifecycles for medical technologies. All this creates uncertainty for manufacturers too. How can they generate the data required by payers and health authorities if the product is not funded? What is the incentive to invest in solving patients’ unmet need, if they cannot expect their innovation to reach the patient? The challenges and unpredictability that this creates, can stifle innovation. Ultimately, this slows down patient access to potentially life-changing or even lifesaving technologies. But don’t be discouraged – we have good news. Several payers across Europe are seeking novel approaches to solve this conundrum...