Digital technology could revolutionise drug reimbursement in Spain

Madrid, Spain - November 3, 2017: Vintage storefront in Malasaña district in Madrid. Malasaña is one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Madrid, well known for its counter-cultural scene

Digital technology could play a major role in creating a system that reimburses medicines based on their efficacy in Spain, according to the country’s pharma trade body.

Farmaindustria, along with the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM), organised a workshop on Friday to find ways to measure health outcomes and link them to the performance of drugs.

Access to drugs in Spain is a vexed issue, as with many developed countries – the main payer is the cash-strapped taxpayer-funded national health system, although 17 regional committees also have a say in reimbursement decisions and many people cover part of the costs through out-of-pocket contributions.

Therefore there is a need to develop reimbursement solutions to allow patients in the country access to novel medicines.

Jesús Acebillo, President of Farmaindustria said: “The pharmaceutical industry is convinced that the application of new digital tools will improve the analysis and management of healthcare data which is the key to reconciling access to innovations and the sustainability of the health system.

“From a new perspective, these disruptive innovations must be considered as an investment and it should therefore be understood that their public financing must be based on the return and added value they generate, both for the patient and the healthcare system and at a socio-economic level”.

Rosna Mortuza, Director of Implementation at ICHOM, said: “Advancing the measurement of standardised health outcomes represents a critical shift towards a more efficient and effective healthcare system for patients, payers, hospitals, and providers. Our intent is to bring together stakeholders from across the healthcare community to see how we can support that shift.”

EFPIA has a strategic alliance with ICHOM, and the European pharma body’s director general Nathalie Moll said the she was “delighted to be in Madrid as part of a series of conversations across Europe about how to implement more outcomes-focused and value-based healthcare models.”