Trends Leading Pharma Towards a Holistic Understanding of Value
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Pharma Tech Outlook: Pharma Tech Magazine

Trends Leading Pharma Towards a Holistic Understanding of Value

Pharma Tech Outlook | Friday, January 06, 2023

With new trends, the pharma industry can gain achievements to reinforce a positive agenda of innovation, growth, and a widening role in managing and maintaining health in many forms.

FREMONT, CA: The pharma industry has played a crucial role in preventing and treating COVID-19. At the same time, it had to balance its freedom to research, invest, and profit from investments with its responsibilities to health systems, regulators, budget holders, and patients. These include fair or discretionary pricing, cost sensitivity, drug, and patient safety, marketing and communications, data and information transparency, equitable strategies for intellectual property, and other components of market access.

As the pandemic continues to transform the industry’s business strategies and practices, it offers new solutions to perennial challenges such as pricing, reimbursement, and customer engagement resulting from the tensions between innovation, market access, and financially pressed health systems. Additionally, the industry’s efforts to combat the pandemic have created new platforms for innovation and growth. These include the RNA (mRNA) technology used in the COVID-19 vaccines and the monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) used in various treatments for the virus.

New Directions for mRNA Technology, Driven by Covid Vaccine Development

The role of pharma in tackling the pandemic has raised its profile as an innovation driver. Focusing on innovation as a lifesaver instead of cost, risks, or relationship to pharmaceutical company margins is evident in the largely unconditional optimism created by mRNA technology. Within the area of vaccine development, mRNA offers advantages such as speed, adaptability, and specificity. Moreover, this technology promises to transform other infectious diseases, including influenza and cytomegalovirus, and indications like heart failure.

However, mRNA technology has a few drawbacks, such as the difficulties it has with targeted delivery. The mRNA molecules’ fragility indicates that they need to be safely and effectively encapsulated and require specific conditions for cold storage and transportation.

Global HTA Spread and Europe Moving Towards Unified Clinical Value Assessment

The use of health technology assessment (HTA) to control drug access and costs is increasing, but HTA criteria and procedures are different from one market to another. Despite harmonizing the regulatory framework for evaluating and approving medicines in the European Union (EU), facilitating and expediting access to the European market, reimbursement decisions on medicines and the pharmacoeconomic assessments underpinning those decisions are given to individual EU member states. This causes sharp disparities between markets complicated by regional and local assessments resulting in significant delays to launches and uptake at worst, wholesale withdrawal from the market.

Companies seek a more holistic understanding of drug innovation following the relatively narrow value judgments currently applied by HTA agencies. This would recognize the complete range of long-term offsets and societal gains available from products that will expand the medicine boundaries.

Pharmaceutical companies will witness significant opportunities soon, reflecting organic market development and the disruptive impacts of the pandemic. This has deepened the uncertainty over timelines and outcomes in the HTA pricing and reimbursement procedures that increasingly shape pharmaceutical market access.

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