It’s official: the reimbursement procedure for medicine will be reformed!

Today the current Belgian Parliament will be dissolved in view of the elections of 9 June 2024. Last week a major reform of the reimbursement procedure for medicine was approved, which might come into effect in January 2025. Its goal? Quick and sustainable access to medicine for patients. But what does that mean for you as a patient or for your pharma company? e&a consultants summarises the key points for you.

Patients will be involved in medicine reimbursement

An important change made by the reform is the role of patients in the reimbursement process. The advise for the Minister to grant  a reimbursement lies with the Commission for the Reimbursement of Medicines (CTG), which will include a representative of patient associations, giving a voice to patient needs and concerns.

We are a strong supporter of this change. As our slogan states, every patient deserves proper care, and that starts by giving patients a voice in processes that have a direct impact on their care. It is our ambition to support patient organisations in this new responsibility by offering guidance and training so their concerns can resonate with others.

Faster access to medicine

For pharma companies, a reimbursement request can be time-consuming, generally taking up to one year until the final verdict. To bring medicine more quickly to patients, a fast-access procedure will be set up for medicine with a high medical urgency or that meets specific criteria. Here too, patients will be involved through the inclusion of a patient representative in the council that oversees the procedure.

The continuation of Managed Entry Agreements (MEAs)

Not much changes in the procedure of MEAs, and that is a good thing! After all, they play a crucial part in enabling much-needed medicine to go to market before their effectiveness in a real world setting has been extensively proven. What does change? Once the patent of a medicine has expired, the running MEA will stop as well.

What’s next?

Overall, this reform looks promising for the future of medicine reimbursement in Belgium. However, it remains unclear for now how these changes will translate into practice and how they will relate to the upcoming joint clinical assessment in the EU. We eagerly await the forthcoming royal decrees that will implement these legal changes to provide more answers. 

It’s official: the reimbursement procedure for medicine will be reformed!

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