Patients in NL wait 1.5 years for access to new medicines
Patients in the Netherlands have to wait an average of 510 days for access to a new medicine, even if it has already been approved, the association for innovative medicines VIG said based on a study by agency BS Health into 14 new medicines in the period 2018 to 2020. The average waiting time of about a year and a half is much longer than in the countries around us.
The waiting time in the Netherlands doubled in the past four years, according to VIG. "In a country like Germany, with approximately the same level of prosperity and medicine prices, this happens much faster: within 30 days. It is inexplicable that people in the border region, who live barely 20 kilometers away from each other, have unequal chances of recovery," said VIG director Gerard Schouw. According to his organization, these "usually" involve medicines against serious diseases, including cancer.
The longer waiting times are due to "dragging" price negotiations between the Minister and drug companies, the VIG explained. "In Germany, prices are also heavily negotiated, but there almost all new medicines are available within thirty days."
A hundred days should be enough to arrive at an acceptable price, said the VIG, because "that is managed in the countries around us". The VIG is launching a campaign called #backto100. This autumn, the association will talk to politicians, patient organizations and Dutch healthcare authority NZa. It also wants to come up with proposals to speed up the process to availability for the patient and is getting inspiration for this from abroad.
In the period 2014 to 2016, patients in the Netherlands waited an average of 315 days for accessibility to 11 new medicines.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.