Vogler, Sabine (2022): “Ready for the future?” – Status of national and cross-country horizon scanning systems for medicines in European countries. GMS German Medical Science, 20 (Doc05). DOI: 10.3205/000307.

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BACKGROUND: Horizon scanning aims to systematically identify upcoming health technologies and thus allows policy-makers to be better prepared for the entry of new medicines with possibly high price tags into the national health system. The aim of this study is to survey the existence of national and cross-national horizon scanning systems for medicines in European countries. ***METHODS: Experts working in public authorities (members of the Pharmaceutical Pricing and Reimbursement Information/PPRI network) in the WHO European region participated in surveys in 2014 and 2019 and informed about the status of horizon scanning in their country (response rate: 14 and 44 countries, respectively). Identified advanced horizon scanning systems as of 2019 were further investigated based on a literature review. ***RESULTS: In 2019, six countries (Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom) reported systematic use of horizon scanning for some new medicines, and four countries (Austria, Denmark, France, Ireland) had some horizon scanning activities ongoing. No systematic use of horizon scanning was reported from the remaining 34 countries. The findings of the survey undertaken five years earlier were similar, with even fewer systems in place. A recent development is the establishment of cross-country initiatives of governments that aim, among others, to jointly perform horizon scanning; the International Horizon Scanning Initiative (IHSI) initiated by the Beneluxa collaboration is the most advanced undertaking in this respect. Countries with systematic use tend to have horizon scanning fully integrated in a system for the management of new medicines, and they use horizon scanning outcomes to inform decisions as to whether or not a Health Technology Assessment will be conducted and price negotiations be started. Differences between existing horizon scanning systems mainly concern the timings of scanning and reporting, the sources for the inputs and the accessibility of the findings. ***CONCLUSION: There appears to be a discrepancy between the perceived importance of horizon scanning based on some eye-opening examples in the past and its actual implementation in European health systems. The latter is likely attributable to horizon scanning being resource-intensive. The establishment of new national and international horizon scanning systems offers the opportunity to investigate their impact on sustainable access to affordable medicines from the start.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: pharmaceutical preparation, health technology, horizon scanning, forecast, preparedness, affordability, access to medicines, Health Technology Assessment (HTA)
Subjects: OEBIG > Pharmaoekonomie
Date Deposited: 19 May 2022 05:40
Last Modified: 19 May 2022 05:40
URI: https://jasmin.goeg.at/id/eprint/2242