"Buying Innovative" in the Healthcare Biotech Market in Europe
With regard to the healthcare biotechnology sector “buying innovative” means organising a public procurement process in a way that ensures a balance between the various public health objectives, i.e. securing access for patients to innovative therapies, guaranteeing high standards of quality, safety and efficacy of products purchased, and incentivising companies to compete in a free and dynamic internal market. More specifically in a way that:
• Reflects patients’ needs and offers freedom of choice for doctors/patients, by ensuring that treatment options are not limited and decisions can always be made by a physician in consultation with patients. Given the recognised differences between biological medicines, a variety of biological medicines should be available for patients, not only a single medicine.
• Respects physicians’ prescribing authority as regards decisions to keep treated patient with their current treatments or to alternate therapies. The decision to switch a patient to a new product should only be taken by the prescribing doctor in alignment with the patient and not be based on the results of a tendering process or purely on economic considerations.
• Takes into account the complexity of biological medicines, including manufacturing practices, and for instance allows for sufficient lead times between an award decision and product delivery.
• It is awarded based on careful consideration of additional criteria besides price, such as manufacturer experience, long-term efficacy and safety data, the need to ensure continuity of treatment, quality, services, manufacturing and reliability of supply as well as outcomes and additional potential costs (e.g. hospitalisations) incurred by patients and healthcare professionals during the course of previous therapeutic plans.
• Fosters fair market competition and innovation, for instance by ensuring all manufacturers are able to compete with other bids and/or negotiate with payers on an equal footing.
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