Value added medicines contribute to addressing unmet patient needs. Moving from a one-size-fits-all to a much more tailored and patient specific approach, value added medicines are one of the key components of the customisation of healthcare. By answering patients’ unmet needs, they represent a new horizon for those who are currently looking forward to a better quality of life with their treatment.
All patients differ and what works for one may not work as well for another. In a society where patients want to take ownership over their own health, value added medicines can help empower patients to feel better with their treatment.
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 patients’ needs. Value added medicines aim to offer patients a more tailored experience so they will feel more comfortable and satisfied with their treatment. For example, value added medicines can enhance a patient’s quality of life and ultimately ensure better adherence and compliance by reducing side effects or by offering a better mode of administration more adapted to their lifestyle.
We see value added medicines as an opportunity to understand and support patients’ unmet needs. The improvement of treatments containing known molecules should ultimately deliver additional health benefits and help patients to better manage their health condition. Attentive to patients’ healthcare journey insights, the Value Added Medicines Group is developing a framework to unlock new opportunities to help patients in their healing process, offering more adapted medicines to those who need it.
Value added medicines greatly contribute to improving access to high quality care. They provide healthcare professionals and patients with unprecedented flexibility in terms of therapy choices. Value added medicines offer a wider range of treatment options, using well known molecules but allowing for a much more tailor-made approach, increasing patient, as well as healthcare professional, and satisfaction. Value added medicines offer a well-known safety profile, creating confidence in using alternatives that are more adapted to some patients’ lives than existing treatment options.
Value added medicines contribute to the balance between accessing innovation and a high quality healthcare system. Using the right treatment for the right patient will help capture some inefficiencies that are impacting access to, and sustainability of, high quality healthcare systems. This valuable gain can then be re-allocated for efficient use of healthcare resources, responding to the growing concerns of equitable access to high quality patient care.
The Value added Medicines Group is dedicated to providing better access to high quality care. At a time where the concept of universal access to quality care and innovation is under pressure, value added medicines enable the healthcare system to reap the benefits of innovation without compromising equitable access to tailored treatment.
Value added medicines represent new untapped research potential for the healthcare community. Tailored medicines are not a futuristic utopian dream. The move towards a more patient centric approach, identifying what works best for some patients rather than others, is real and represents a radical change for our industry.
Research and development of value added medicines requires taking science into account, but also integrates patient and physician needs early in the development process. It requires a full understanding of the patient’s journey in order to identify, integrate and deliver adapted medicines using new technologies that will enhance the patient and healthcare professional experience.
Value added medicines represent a new form of R&D merging a pharmacological approach of well-known active substances with more patients and/or healthcare professional insights, leveraging new technologies to transform existing molecules to address specific needs that could not be tackled 20 years ago.
Value added medicines aim to bring innovation continuously through the entirety of a molecule’s lifecycle, particularly those molecules no longer protected by patent. Working with proven compounds whose toxicity and other effects have been studied, can reduce development times, but to combine new technologies with known molecules requires considerable R&D investment and effort. Our ambition is to play a leading role in unlocking this new and untapped research potential, focusing on existing molecules.
The healthcare community, including patients, faces challenging times with the sustainability of our healthcare systems. The total number of people aged above 65 is forecasted to grow by more than 50 million by 2050,1 creating new needs and challenges in addressing the healthy and active ageing process. In parallel, the number of people affected by chronic diseases across all age groups is steadily increasing2 and despite the recent slowdown in pharmaceutical spending growth, the high cost of new specialty medicines for diseases like cancer and hepatitis will likely cause spending to rise again, says the OECD.3
New innovative treatments are reaching the healthcare community, offering new hope to patients. However their financing represents a real challenge in terms of equitable access in a context where healthcare budgets are barely succeeding in the face of current needs of patients. OECD data shows that new specialty medicines are expected to account for 50% or more of pharmaceutical spending growth within the next five years.4
If one aims at ensuring universal access to healthcare by addressing the sustainability challenge of need outpacing budget growth, changes are needed and, as main healthcare partners, it is our responsibility to react today. The healthcare system must adapt its mechanisms and research focus to respond to these sustainability and access challenges. There are opportunities to address this situation which should be explored. Sustainability can be achieved in different ways, including through more efficient use of healthcare resources.
The WHO estimates that between 20 to 40 percent of healthcare spending is inefficiently allocated, either through unnecessary or non-cost effective services. For example, it is estimated that lack of adherence costs the European system around €125 bn a year. Addressing the adherence challenge could be a significant step to ensure better outcomes to patients and the healthcare communities, supporting system sustainability.
Healthcare inefficiencies represent opportunities to rethink and optimise current health delivery systems as well as reinvent current therapies in a context where patients are more empowered on all aspects of their health and related well-being. In this frame, the Value Added Medicines Group comes forward with an answer to bring innovative healthcare while preserving system sustainability.
1 IMS Institute report: Bringing Healthy Living to Ageing Citizens: The Role of Technology, June 2014
3 OECD – Health at a Glance, 2015
4 OECD – Health at a Glance, 2015
Value added medicines provide an opportunity to inject more competition and innovation into the pharmaceutical sector. However, the current pharmaceutical market framework does not encourage innovation after the end of the patent term.
Value added medicines offer a credible, real time opportunity to deliver innovative treatments for patients at a fair price for healthcare systems while recognising R&D investments by the industry. In addition to the competition they bring, value added medicines will also improve the cost effectiveness and efficiency of the healthcare system, either in terms of improved outcomes, reduced medication errors or improved patient adherence.
The Value Added Medicines Group engages with the healthcare community and policy makers to support greater access to medicines and to medicines innovation for all European patients. Recognising that healthcare systems are under considerable financial strain, we encourage greater collaboration between stakeholders. We recognise that patients, HCPs and payers have unmet needs and expect genuine value added improvement, more innovation and sustainable access models in the future.