Improving Access to Medicines

Improving Access to Medicines

Together we have made huge progress in improving health outcomes for European patients. However, we still see differing levels and rates of access to medicines across Europe. We ask EU and national policy-makers to work with us to improve the health of Europeans, via innovative, value focused access solutions.

Towards more equitable access

By working together over the last decade, we have made huge progress in improving public health and outcomes in Europe, contributing to the economy and our society. 

However, major variations in health outcomes still remain across Europe1. Among contributing factors is the wide variation in usage of, and access to, innovative medicines.

Pfizer is working on breakthroughs that change patients’ lives in key areas of unmet need including oncology, rare diseases, inflammation & immunology, vaccines, and anti-infectives.

With this great potential on the horizon, we need to build on the exciting strides we have made in medical innovation towards more equitable patients’ access to valuable medicines.

A question of value and affordability?

We acknowledge the affordability challenges faced by healthcare systems in Europe, under pressure from ageing populations and a rising healthcare demand. However, focusing on medicine pricing alone will not be sufficient to ensure the long-term sustainability of our healthcare systems.

We believe spending on medicines should be considered in the context of the outcomes they deliver and wider healthcare investments.

Today’s innovative medicines are tomorrow’s generics and biosimilars: that is why we have lower cost options for treating conditions like heart disease and depression today. This will extend to conditions like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and other diseases in the future. This is the long term, true value of innovation.

The role of value-based health systems and innovative models to improve access

Addressing the technical, structural, financial and political barriers to developing an outcomes-focused approach to healthcare will require intensive dialogue and partnership between patients, clinicians, regulators, governments, payers, and industry. We at Pfizer are committed to play our role in this process.

We believe a more holistic, value-based approach can help address some of today’s affordability challenges by rewarding those technologies that deliver the most value to patients and health systems. Examples include:

  • Innovative pricing: Can we implement a pricing model based on the indication the medicine is approved for, or the healthoutcome that it delivers, rather than based on a price-per-unit of medicine?
  • Innovative contracting: Can products be delivered in new ways that better align with payers’ needs for value?
  • Innovative financing/budgeting: Are there different ways of setting healthcare budgets beyond traditional annual-based models, to better address the budget impact of treatment? 
  • Innovative evidence generation: How can data and evidence generation be maximised to inform and support pricing, contracting and financing approaches?

Key Policy Points

During the 2019-2024 legislature, we call on the EU and its Member States to:

  1. Recognise the value of medicines in improving public health and patient outcomes in Europe;
  2. Work with us to build on the exciting strides we have made inimproving patients’ lives and continue investing in the health of Europeans;
  3. Consider a more holistic, value-based approach in helping address today’s affordability challenges.