The Netherlands Needs Healthcare System “Adjustments” to Prepare for Personalized Medicine

Country: NETHERLANDS | Region: EUROPE | Type: Policy | Keywords: #access #healthcare #hta #medicines #netherlands #personalized #reform #structure

PRICENTRIC BRIEF:

  • The Netherlands’ Innovative Medicines Association (VIG) believes that the current system structure in the Netherlands is not quite ready for personalized medicine
  • ONVZ is the only health insurer in the Netherlands that reimburses pharmacogenetic research to do something about the changes, as it stands
  • The news comes as the costs of medicines per hospital patient in the Netherlands have fallen by 12% per year in recent years, and news that the increase in hospital expenditure on medicines is mainly due to an increase in the number of patients

THE DETAILS

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – Following a recent interview in which Jean-Paul van Haarlem (chairman of the ONVZ board) and Janneke Boersma (Patient Access Manager, Roche) stated: “The potential of precision medicine is endless, but a number of barriers have to be removed,” the Netherlands’ Innovative Medicines Association (VIG) has said that although healthcare is increasingly geared to the individual, the current healthcare system is lagging behind.

At the end of February 2020, the American MIT Technology Review named personalized medicine as an important breakthrough technology for the coming years, but VIG believes that the current system structure in the Netherlands is not quite ready for this.

ONVZ is the only health insurer in the Netherlands that reimburses pharmacogenetic research to do something about the changes, as it stands.

Boersma goes on to indicate that collaboration between healthcare parties is necessary to prepare the healthcare system for personalized medicine, saying “A nice step is the Initiative memorandum that three MPs sent to the House of Representatives in early February 2020. They insist that a comprehensive DNA test be made available to every cancer patient prior to a treatment decision.

“Based on the test results, we can optimally treat the patients of ‘today’ and by recording and monitoring data we can predict even better in the future which patient will benefit from which care.”

Gerard Schouw, director of VIG, commented: “Access to insured medicines in the hospital is not at issue. That is good news for patients,” responding to a monitor for medicines for specialist medical care 2020, which stated that the the affordability of medicines in specialist medical care is under pressure due to an increase in the number of patients.

The comments follow news that the costs of medicines per hospital patient in the Netherlands have fallen by 12% per year in recent years, and that the increase in hospital expenditure on medicines is mainly due to an increase in the number of patients.

The ‘Future-proofing the Medicines System’ study, commissioned by the Innovative Medicines Association, revealed that the number of patients using hospital medicines increased by 20% per year between 2014 and 2018, and the costs have fallen from an average of 10,000 euros per patient to more than 6,000 euros.

In response, the VIG has pointed out that many medical innovations are coming, such as gene therapies, and that the changes require a review of the system of assessment and reimbursement of medicines.

As a result, the VIG will make proposals about changing the system later this year.

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