THIRD PLENARY SESSION: HOW TO CONTROL COSTS AND IMPROVE ACCESS TO MEDICINES:
LESSONS FROM THE INTERQUALITY PROJECT
This session will describe a number of important themes emerging from the InterQuality Project. One key finding was the importance of equity of access to health services and medicines. For example, the proportion of households with “catastrophic” out-of-pocket health spending in Poland was much higher than in either Denmark or Germany, and concentrated in the worst-off groups of senior citizens. The new Minister of Health launched a program of free medicines for senior citizens of Poland. A second important theme was how evidence on patients’ preferences can be integrated into health technology assessment (HTA) using efficiency frontier concept to identify the most efficient strategy within a disease class in regulatory decision-making in Germany. Finally, while most European Union (EU) member states promote the implementation of innovative analytical methods or e-health tools, such as e-prescribing, these efforts are not part of an integrated package. Currently, no single agent manages insured patients’ access to medicines and healthcare in a coordinated manner. More attention should be paid by EU member states to an institutional framework integrating the various methods and e-health tools to enhance benefits to both individuals and societies.