·    Healthcare systems should move from curing illness to improving well-being, keeping people healthy and delivering the most efficient care.

·         Value Added Medicines bring innovation throughout a molecule’s lifecycle to address patients’ health, improve the safety and efficiency of the work of healthcare professionals and increase physicians’ treatment options, while preserving the sustainability of the healthcare system.

·         The Value Added Medicines Group seeks to work together with policy makers, payers, patients and healthcare professionals to address the barriers to this innovation so that all concerned stakeholders can take advantage of these opportunities.

A new study Value Added Medicines: Rethink, Reinvent & Optimise Medicines: Improving Patient Health and Access was launched today in Brussels by the Value Added Medicines Group, a sector group of Medicines for Europe. The report, conducted by Mondher Toumi, Professor of Public Health at Aix-Marseille University, identified several areas of healthcare inefficiencies in Europe and highlights new opportunities for innovation, health improvements and budget efficiency. Professor Mondher Toumi emphasised that “on average, 50% of patients do not take their medication as prescribed[1], which can have considerable consequences for their health and the healthcare system[2]. Value added medicines represent an opportunity to address a number of healthcare inefficiencies such as the suboptimal use of drugs, but also an opportunity to enhance healthcare system efficiency and contribute to the sustainability of healthcare systems.

This was acknowledged by Christoph Stoller, Chair of the Value Added Medicines Group: “We need to move from responding to sickness towards improving well-being, keeping people healthy, looking ahead and thinking in the widest sense about care that is holistic, efficient and effective. The Value Added Medicines Group aims to rethink, reinvent and optimise medicines based on known molecules. It brings innovation throughout a molecule’s lifecycle to develop medicines which better understand patient needs and improve care delivery.”

While the majority of existing treatments deliver on their promises to a large number of patients, some may need to be adapted to match specific needs of the healthcare community. Since the discovery of these off-patent medicines more than 20 years ago, new scientific knowledge and new technologies have emerged, opening new research and development opportunities to address specific situations that could not be tackled 20 years ago.

The resulting value added medicines are medicines based on known molecules that address healthcare needs and deliver relevant improvement for patients, healthcare professionals and/or payers. Beyond improving patients’ quality of life and adherence, they can improve the safety and efficiency of the work of healthcare professionals, increase physicians’ treatment options and improve overall budget efficiency. Unfortunately, the current market environment in Europe does not allow the healthcare community to fully capture the benefits of value added medicines as the study has identified several obstacles for their uptake. While all stakeholders should recognise the benefits that value added medicines bring, HTA and pricing and reimbursement authorities should adapt their pathways so that their added value can be shown and rewarded appropriately. In return and with the right pathways, the industry needs to take a proactive approach and engage with authorities to assess how the evidence can be generated to support their claims.

Christoph Stoller added: “Delivering better outcomes will be lost if the healthcare community does not acknowledge and reward incremental innovation in the off-patent segment. Policy makers, payers, patients, healthcare professionals and our sector group need to work together to address the barriers highlighted in the study so that all concerned stakeholders can take advantage of this innovation”.

Supporting documents

[1] Sabaté E. Adherence to long-term therapies. Evidence for action. World Health Organisation (WHO). 2003. [Internet]. Available from: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/42682/1/9241545992.pdf (Cited 2016 May 09)

[2] Kelly M, McCarthy S, Sahm LJ. Knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of patients and carers regarding medication adherence: a review of qualitative literature. IJPP 2015, Supplement 1: 28–49. (Original reference: European Council Policy Makers Debate. An EU response to medication non-adherence. Brussels, 2010)