Mounting pressures on the healthcare system, such as budget constraints and new, costly health technologies reaching the market, have pushed payers and manufacturers to engage in managed entry agreements (MEAs) to address uncertainty and facilitate market access.
This study was conducted to illustrate the current landscape of MEAs in Europe and to analyze the main hurdles they face in implementation, providing a policy perspective.
We conducted a health policy analysis based on a literature review and described the emergence, classification, current use, and implementation obstacles of MEAs in Europe.
Throughout Europe, uncertainty and high prices of health technologies have pushed stakeholders towards MEAs. Two main types of MEAs were applied heavily, finance-based agreements (FBAs) and performance-based agreements, including individual performance-based agreements and coverage with evidence development (CED). Service-based agreements have not been as heavily considered so far, yet are increasingly used. Many European countries are turning to CEDs to address uncertainty and facilitate market access while negotiating the pricing and reimbursement rates of products. Despite the interest in CEDs, European countries have moved toward FBAs due to the complexities and burdens associated with PBAs.
Ultimately, in Europe, with the exception of Italy, where MEAs have proven to be inefficient, MEAs are predominantly FBAs dedicated to addressing cost containment from payers’ perspective and external reference pricing from the manufacturers’ perspective. It has been speculated that MEAs will disappear in the medium-term as they are counterproductive for extending patient access and emergence of innovation. To inform value-based decision making and allow early access to innovative medicines, CEDs should be revisited.
Monique Dabbous Lylia Chachoua Aleksandra Caban Mondher Toumi