THE FOURTH HURDLE – CAN IT BE SIMPLIFIED?

Melbourne, Australia – While regulatory systems are well established within Asia-Pacific countries, formalised health technology assessment (HTA) based reimbursement systems are relatively new, yet rapidly evolving. Closer understanding of the different reimbursement processes within Asia-Pacific can allow for best-practice cross-pollination, leading to earlier and improved access for patients.

In the study, “From Regulatory Approval to Subsidised Patient Access in the Asia-Pacific Region: A Comparison of Systems across Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan and Thailand,”  published in Value in Health Regional Issues Volume 6 focusing on Asia, the authors compared the processes and timings leading up to subsidised access to medicines across seven HTA based Asia-Pacific countries.

According to the study results, while consistency exists across the regulatory systems studied, differences exist in timing and content of data required across reimbursement systems. For example, Australia, Thailand and South Korea are the only countries to allow regulatory and reimbursement processes to be conducted in parallel, with data demonstrating that earlier patient access can be achieved through this initiative.

The lead author on the study, Greg Cook, PhD, Associate Director of Market Access at Bristol-Myers Squibb Australia and Chair of the Medicines Australia Health Economics Working Group, states, “While the assessment of relative effectiveness should remain the remit of reimbursement agencies, there are data and review efficiencies that can lead to earlier and improved access for patients. Cross-collaboration of regulatory and reimbursement best practice could be used to improve communications within sponsor companies, expand dialogue between regulators and HTA bodies, support policy maker decisions, and ultimately, improve time to subsidised access for patients in the future.”

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