AmCham and Inovia on the availability of innovative therapies and their funding opportunities in Serbia: To innovative drugs through the analysis of the efficiency of investment in healthcare and long-term planning
Innovative drugs prolong the life expectancy, they enable more successful, faster and more comfortable treatment, with far fewer costs.
Although Serbia’s investment in health is very similar to neighbouring countries such as Bulgaria or Romania, the issue of innovative medicines is at least the least in Serbia in relation to all the countries surveyed, say the results of two different studies, conducted by the Inovia Manufacturers Association and the American the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AmCham).
“The share of innovative medicines in prescription drugs in Serbia is more than twice as low as compared to Bulgaria, which has a comparably similar budget spending on health and a similar level of GDP. Our study has shown the importance of investing in innovation and their effects on long-term budget savings and extending the life and productive lives of the population. Therefore, it is necessary to make a system for analyzing the efficiency of healthcare investments and open discussion on the long-term sustainable financing model for innovative therapies, “said Jelena Pavlović, President of AmCham, at a conference on health policy development in Serbia, organized jointly by AmCham and Inovia.
According to the data from a comparative study of state investment in healthcare and the availability of innovative therapies in Italy, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Montenegro and Serbia, conducted by IKVIA, the world’s leading health consulting company, the Republic of Serbia has the lowest evaluation of medicines. With only about 70 euros a year per capita, 44% less money than Bulgaria, 61% less than Montenegro and 86% less than Romania, while investment is more than twice as high as ours. It is not surprising then that the availability of innovative drugs is the smallest in our country.
After many years without access to innovative medicines for patients in Serbia, in 2016, 23 new innovative drugs were introduced on the list of drugs, which together with the regular introduction of new drugs in the past two years, means a shift in the right direction.
The AmCham study provides a selection of several short, medium and long-term measures that can be used to fund innovative therapies. In the short term, it is proposed to allocate individual items in the RFZO budget for innovative medicines on the reputation of Croatia, which means that the analysis of the efficiency of investment is encouraged. In 2006, Croatia set up a separate fund for innovative medicines, which now has close to 200 million euros, which largely covers the needs of the population for innovative medicines. In order to ensure the sustainability of such solutions, several options are offered on the side of increasing the efficiency of spending of existing funds, as well as increasing the funds available to RFZO.
“Innovative drugs have an immeasurable significance for the health system of a country. In addition to the most important, primary effect on improving health, production and improving the quality of life, it is important to have a beneficial effect on the sustainability of the healthcare system by reducing the costs of using treatment efficacy, avoiding expensive operative procedures, preventing the occurrence of disability and losing workability. In order for our insureds to have at their disposal what is most effective, what medicine can offer at this moment, it is necessary to allocate additional dedicated funds to increase the availability of innovative medicines. “- said Bojan Trkulja, director of the Inovia Association.
AmCham Study, implemented by the consulting company EI Srbija, among other things, proposes, among other things, short-term measures to reduce VAT on medicines based on the reputation of 19 of the 27 EU member states, from mid-term solutions, changes in the way health care costs are covered, better control of spending and more significant turning to preventive measures, while long-term reform efforts are available to decision-makers, such as health insurance reform.