OECD launches consultation on medical research (updated)

The OECD has launched a consultation on access to innovative pharmaceuticals and sustainability of pharmaceutical spending.

The OECD seeks submissions that respond to one or more the following questions:

  1. Reflecting on the last 5-10 years, what do you think have been the major changes affecting access to medicines?

  2. What are the top three issues that must be addressed to ensure access to innovative medicines while maintaining financial sustainability of health systems?

  3. Why do you think there are issues in ensuring access to innovative medicines while maintaining financial sustainability of health systems?

  4. What changes would you like to see happen to improve access to innovative therapies?

The deadline for submissions is 01 May 2017

According to the call for submissions, “The overall objective is to improve patient access to innovative treatments and ensure the sustainability of health spending as well as continued innovation that meets patient needs… Submissions will be used to inform the synthesis of evidence and develop recommendT

The OECD is acting as the Secretariat for this new pharma initiative.Among other things, the OECD intends to conduct a "prospective study to assess the sustainability of pharmaceutical spending".

A background note explains that:

"Pharmaceutical spending accounts for approximately 20 percent of total health spending in OECD countries... In oncology and in rare diseases, high prices are not always commensurate to high benefits. The cost per life year gained of new cancer drugs was multiplied by four between 1995 and 2013 in the United States, even when adjusted for inflation. It now exceeds USD 200,000. For orphan medicines, incremental costs per QALY gained often exceed USD 100,000 and has been assessed to exceed USD 1 million in extreme cases."

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