Innovative contracting in Europe – a Trojan horse?

on demand
Market Access


With pricing of drugs at the centre of political and social debate, the market access and pricing environment in Europe has become increasingly challenging over the years. Innovative contracting has since become a common route to overcome these challenges and ensure timely access for patients.

In the past decade, we have moved from simple discounting and traditional volume-based agreements to more complex value-based models involving measurement of health outcomes, risk-sharing and cost containment guarantees. The feasibility of these contracts tends to vary by EU market, dependent mainly on the available healthcare system infrastructure to collect and process data as well as other regulatory and philosophical differences.

Ultimately, the question remains as to whether these agreements are a move towards better healthcare provision and more connected healthcare infrastructures, or are they slowing down access and creating administrative burden due to their complexity?


This debate took place on Monday 2nd September from 15:00-16:00 BST as we discussed the future of innovative contracting with our panel of European payers.

Key topics covered included:

  • To what extent and how contracting helps improve patient access?
  • What prior successes and failures can teach us about designing contracts that deliver true value to the health systems?
  • Can we avoid contracting and what would be the alternative?

To view the debate on demand, please click here or on the button above or below.

Our Panel

Alain Boulanger, Senior Policy Officer, French Ministry of Economy and Finances

Alain Boulanger, MSc in Economics, is currently a senior policy officer and an internal senior auditor within the French Ministry of Economy and Finances. He is also a Government Commissioner to the French Competition Authority (Autorité de la concurrence).

He was a member of the Health Products Economic Committee (Comité économique des produits de santé or CEPS), the French administrative body in charge of pricing and setting the market access conditions for drugs and medical devices (2011-2015).

Previously he was a senior official within the French Ministry for Health.

Malcolm Qualie, Pharmacy Lead of Specialised Services, NHS England

Malcolm, MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences, is currently the Pharmacy Lead of Specialised Services within the Medicines Optimisation Clinical Reference Group at NHS England. Prior to that he was responsible for developing the policy for specialised treatments for East Midlands as the Head of Health Policy as well as the Pharmaceutical Advisor to the East Midlands Specialised Commissioning Group.

In addition, Malcolm is actively involved in several professional bodies that advise NHS England and NICE on the provision of healthcare (e.g. National Pharmaceutical Supply Group, NICE Commissioner reference panel for NICE Guidelines) and a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society since 2016.

Filippo Drago, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology, Former member of the Board for Pricing and Reimbursement, AIFA

Filippo Drago, a neurologist and psychiatrist by training, is a well-respected scientist with over 450 papers published in peer-reviewed journals and currently a Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Catania in Italy. Over the years, he has held prominent positions within the Italian public Agency for Drug Evaluation, AIFA, as first a member of the Scientific Board and later a member of the Board for Pricing and Reimbursement. He also held a position in the Committee for the Drugs' Formulary in one of the major Regions in Italy. Filippo Drago is also involved in various national and international scientific societies and held the position as President of EPHAR (Federation of European Pharmacological Societies) from 2012–2014.

Barry Farrimond, European Value and Access Lead, ZS Associates 

Barry is the leader in ZS’ Value & Access practice and has particular responsibility for ex-US markets. While leading the practice from a business management perspective, he maintains a significant focus on working directly with clients to solve their complex access problems, sharing his 15+ years’ experience in market access, clinical development, and corporate development.

Before joining ZS, Barry was the Global Head of Pricing & Market Access at PAREXEL International, where he spent 7 years growing the team into a credible strategy group focused on developing integrated market access solutions. Prior to that he spent 7 years working for IMS P&R/Cambridge Pharma, and also spent time at the Associate Parliamentary Group in Westminster and the NHS’s Modernization agency.

Smita Sealey, European Value and Access Director, ZS Associates [co-moderator]

Smita is a Strategy Insights & Planning Manager within ZS’s Value & Access solution area in Europe. She is responsible for leading global Market Access & Pricing projects with several large and small biopharmaceutical clients.

Smita has over a decade of experience in pharmaceuticals and market access consulting complemented by her affiliate level expertise specifically in the UK and the EU5. During this time, she has developed market access and strategies for over 50 products across 17 therapy areas in multiple countries – including EU5, Nordics, and CEE. Smita also brings strong relationship via direct working with payers and key opinion leaders across the EU5 by way of her involvement in global industry and payer forums including the ABPI, EMIG and EUnetHTA.

Dominic Tyer pharmaphorumDominic Tyer, Creative and Editorial Director, pharmaphorum [co-moderator]

Dominic Tyer is a trained journalist and editor with 19 years of pharmaceutical and healthcare publishing experience. He serves as a contributing editor at pharmaphorum media, which facilitates productive engagement for pharma, bringing healthcare together to drive medical innovation. He is also creative director at the company’s specialist healthcare content consultancy, pharmaphorum connect.

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