Time to act together: patients wait more than 6 times longer for access to new medicines in neighboring European countries

The yearly EFPIA Patients WAIT survey, developed with the support of IQVIA, has found that patients in neighboring countries can wait over 6 times as long for access to new medicines.

Speaking about the publication of the survey and report, EFPIA Director General, Nathalie Moll said “The Roadmap for the EU Pharmaceutical Strategy includes the objective of ensuring that patients in Europe get access to the medicines they need. It is a goal and a responsibility the research-based pharmaceutical industry in Europe shares with patients, clinicians, health systems and governments. In order to better understand the access to medicines reality for patients across Europe and to support finding collaborative solutions that put the needs of patients first, EFPIA carried out its yearly Patients W.A.I.T Indicator Survey (IQVIA, 2020) and complemented it with an analysis of the resulting data in a report entitled The root cause of unavailability and delay to innovative medicines: Reducing the time before patients have access to innovative medicines, with the support of Charles Rivers Associates (CRA).

The Patients W.A.I.T. Indicator Survey, shows the average time to patient access to treatments across EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries continues to be as long as 504 days, ranging from 127 days in Germany to over 823 days in Poland.

Commenting on the launch, Mike Doustdar, EFPIA Board member and Chair of EFPIA’s Patient Access Committee said “These significant delays and unavailability of medicines harm patients. The EFPIA/CRA analysis shows the root causes of these issues to be multi-factorial; including late start of market access assessment, duplicative evidence requirements, and national pricing and reimbursement policies. We hope that the combination of the W.A.I.T Indicator Survey and the EFPIA/CRA analysis can contribute to an evidenced-based dialogue across all stakeholders to find collaborative solutions.”

The EFPIA Patients WAIT Survey and the EFPIA/CRA analysis should serve as a starting point for an informed discussion on the root causes of unavailability and delay that are multi-factorial and that can only be solved by different stakeholders working together, in line with the level of competence and responsibility of Member States, European Commission and Stakeholders.