Differences in reimbursement listing of anticancer therapies in China: an observational study.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:Access to highly priced anticancer medications usually requires insurance coverage. A first step towards coverage of such medications is their inclusion in reimbursement lists. We assessed listing for reimbursement in China between 2009 and 2018 of anticancer medications on the WHO's Essential Medicines List. SETTING AND STUDY DESIGN:Using publicly available data, we assessed which anticancer medications listed in the 20th WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (EML) were included in China's National Reimbursement Drug List (NRDL). For five targeted anticancer medications on the WHO EML, we also assessed inclusion in the 31 Chinese Provincial Reimbursement Drug Lists (PRDLs). Logistic regression was used to test whether inclusion of targeted anticancer medications was associated with provincial economic levels. PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES:Inclusion of five targeted anticancer medications in the NRDL and PRDLs before and after 2017. RESULTS:The 2017 NRDL included all anticancer medications on the WHO EML (except for one not approved in China at the time), and by 2018, all 31 PRDLs listed the targeted anticancer medications except for nilotinib; four provinces had covered all five targeted medications before the 2017 NRDL coverage mandate. Provincial economic level and regional incidence of specific cancers seemed unrelated to the inclusion of five targeted anticancer medications in PRDLs. CONCLUSION:Our findings suggest that by including medications in the national and provincial reimbursement lists, China has taken an important first step in promoting access to targeted anticancer medications. Further research is needed to determine whether inclusion in PRDLs improved the availability, appropriate use and affordability of highly priced targeted anticancer medications in China.
Project description:Objectives:Essential medicines lists (EMLs) are efficient means to ensure access to safe and effective medications. The WHO has led this initiative, generating a biannual EML since 1977. Nearly all countries have implemented national EMLs based on the WHO EML. Although EMLs have given careful consideration to many public health priorities, they have yet to comprehensively address the importance of medicines for treating acute illness and injury. Methods:We undertook a multi-step consensus process to establish an EML for emergency care in Africa. After a review of existing literature and international EMLs, we generated a candidate list for emergency care. This list was reviewed by expert clinicians who ranked the medicines for overall inclusion and strength of recommendation. These medications and recommendations were then evaluated by an expert group. Medications that reached consensus in both the online survey and expert review were included in a draft emergency care EML, which underwent a final in-person consensus process. Results:The final emergency care EML included 213 medicines, 25 of which are not in the 2017 WHO EML but were deemed essential for clinical practice by regional emergency providers. The final EML has associated recommendations of desirable or essential, and is subdivided by facility level. Thirty-nine medicines were recommended for basic facilities, an additional 96 for intermediate facilities (e.g. district hospitals), and an additional 78 for advanced facilities (e.g. tertiary centres). Conclusion:The 25 novel medications not currently on the WHO EML should be considered by planners when making rational formularies for developing emergency care systems. It is our hope that these resource-stratified lists will allow for easier implementation, and will be a useful tool for practical expansion of emergency care delivery in Africa.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To explore the perspectives of a diverse group of stakeholders engaged in medicines decision making around what constitutes an "essential" medicine, and how the Essential Medicines List (EML) concept functions in a high income country context. METHODS:In-depth qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with 32 Australian stakeholders, recognised as decision makers, leaders or advisors in the area of medicines reimbursement or supply chain management. Participants were recruited from government, pharmaceutical industry, pharmaceutical wholesale/distribution companies, medicines non-profit organisations, academic health disciplines, hospitals, and consumer groups. Perspectives on the definition and application of the EML concept in a high income country context were thematically analysed using grounded theory approach. FINDINGS:Stakeholders found it challenging to describe the EML concept in the Australian context because many perceived it was generally used in resource scarce settings. Stakeholders were unable to distinguish whether nationally reimbursed medicines were essential medicines in Australia. Despite frequent generic drug shortages and high prices paid by consumers, many struggled to describe how the EML concept applied to Australia. Instead, broad inclusion of consumer needs, such as rare and high cost medicines, and consumer involvement in the decision making process, has led to expansive lists of nationally subsidised medicines. Therefore, improved communication and coordination is needed around shared interests between stakeholders regarding how medicines are prioritised and guaranteed in the supply chain. CONCLUSIONS:This study showed that decision-making in Australia around reimbursement of medicines has strayed from the fundamental utilitarian concept of essential medicines. Many stakeholders involved in medicine reimbursement decisions and management of the supply chain did not consider the EML concept in their approach. The wide range of views of what stakeholders considered were essential medicines, challenges whether the EML concept is out-dated or underutilised in high income countries.
Project description:To investigate the use of the WHO EML as a tool with which to evaluate the evidence base for the medicines on the national insurance coverage list of the Croatian Institute of Health Insurance (CIHI).Medicines from 9 ATC categories with highest expenditures from 2012 CIHI Basic List (n?=?509) were compared with 2011 WHO EML for adults (n?=?359). For medicines with specific indication listed only in CIHI Basic List we assessed whether there was evidence in Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews questioning their efficacy and safety.The two lists shared 188 medicines (52.4% of WHO EML and 32.0% of CIHI list). CIHI Basic List had 254 medicines and 33 combinations of these medicines which were not on the WHO EML, plus 14 medicines rejected and 20 deleted from WHO EML by its Evaluation Committee. For deleted medicines, we could obtain data that showed 2,965,378 prescriptions issued to 617,684 insured patients, and the cost of approximately € 41.2 million for 2012 and the first half of 2013, when the CIHI Basic List was in effect. For CIHI List-only medicines with a specific indication (n?=?164 or 57.1% of the analyzed set), fewer benefits or more serious side-effects than other medicines were found for 17 (10.4%) and not enough evidence for recommendations for specific indication for 21 (12.8%) medicines in Cochrane systematic reviews.National health care policy should use high-quality evidence in deciding on adding new medicines and reassessing those already present on national medicines lists, in order to rationalize expenditures and ensure wider and better access to medicines. The WHO EML and recommendations from its Evaluation Committee may be useful tools in this quality assurance process.
Project description:Enforced expression of the homeobox transcription factor HOXB4 has been shown to enhance hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal and expansion ex vivo and in vivo. To investigate the downstream targets of HOXB4 in hematopoietic progenitor cells, HOXB4 was constitutively overexpressed in the primitive hematopoietic progenitor cell line EML. Two genome-wide analytical techniques were used: RNA expression profiling using microarrays and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-chip. RNA expression profiling revealed that 465 gene transcripts were differentially expressed in KLS (c-Kit(+), Lin(-), Sca-1(+))-EML cells that overexpressed HOXB4 (KLS-EML-HOXB4) compared with control KLS-EML cells that were transduced with vector alone. In particular, erythroid-specific gene transcripts were observed to be highly down-regulated in KLS-EML-HOXB4 cells. ChIP-chip analysis revealed that the promoter region for 1910 genes, such as CD34, Sox4, and B220, were occupied by HOXB4 in KLS-EML-HOXB4 cells. Side-by-side comparison of the ChIP-chip and RNA expression profiling datasets provided correlative information and identified Gp49a and Laptm4b as candidate "stemness-related" genes. Both genes were highly ranked in both dataset lists and have been previously shown to be preferentially expressed in hematopoietic stem cells and down-regulated in mature hematopoietic cells, thus making them attractive candidates for future functional studies in hematopoietic cells.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a widely used class of therapy in the treatment of chronic pain and inflammation. The drugs are effective and can be relatively inexpensive thanks to available generic versions. Unfortunately the traditional NSAIDs are associated with gastrointestinal complications in a small proportion of patients, requiring costly co-therapy with gastro-protective agents. Recently, a new class of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents known as coxibs has become available, fashioned to be safer than the traditional NSAIDs but priced considerably higher than the traditional generics. To help physicians choose appropriately and cost-effectively from the expanded number of anti-inflammatory therapies, scientific bodies have issued clinical practice guidelines and third party payers have published restricted reimbursement policies. The objective of this study is to determine whether an educational intervention can prompt physicians to adjust their prescribing in accordance with these expert recommendations. METHODS: This is an ongoing, randomized controlled trial. All primary care physicians in Manitoba, Canada have been randomly assigned to a control group or an intervention study group. The educational intervention being evaluated consists of an audit and feedback mechanism combined with optional participation in a Continuing Medical Education interactive workshop. The primary outcome of the study is the change, from pre-to post-intervention, in physicians' appropriate prescribing of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory therapies for patients requiring chronic treatment. Three classes of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory therapies have been identified: coxib therapy, traditional NSAID monotherapy, and traditional NSAID therapy combined with gastro-protective agents. Appropriate prescribing is defined based on international clinical practice guidelines and the provincial drug reimbursement policy in Manitoba.
Project description:Antibiotic fixed dose combinations (FDCs) can have clinical advantages such as improving effectiveness and adherence to therapy. However, high use of potentially inappropriate FDCs has been reported, with implications for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and toxicity. We used a pharmaceutical database, IQVIA-Multinational Integrated Data Analysis System (IQVIA-MIDAS®), to estimate sales of antibiotic FDCs from 75 countries in 2015. Antibiotic consumption was estimated using standard units (SU), defined by IQVIA as a single tablet, capsule, ampoule, vial or 5ml oral suspension. For each FDC antibiotic, the approval status was assessed by either registration with the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) or inclusion on the World Health Organization (WHO) Essential Medicines List (EML). A total of 119 antibiotic FDCs were identified, contributing 16.7 x 109 SU, equalling 22% of total antibiotic consumption in 2015. The most sold antibiotic FDCs were amoxicillin-clavulanic acid followed by trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and ampicillin/cloxacillin. The category with the highest consumption volume was aminopenicillin/?-lactamase inhibitor +/- other agents. The majority of antibiotic FDCs (92%; 110/119) were not approved by the US FDA. Of these, the most sold were ampicillin/cloxacillin, cefixime/ofloxacin and metronidazole/spiramycin. More than 80% (98/119) of FDC antibiotics were not compatible with the 2017 WHO EML. The countries with the highest numbers of FDC antibiotics were India (80/119), China (25/119) and Vietnam (19/119). There is high consumption of FDC antibiotics globally, particularly in middle-income countries. The majority of FDC antibiotic were not approved by either US FDA or WHO EML. International initiatives such as clear guidance from the WHO EML on which FDCs are not appropriate may help to regulate the manufacturing and sales of these antibiotics.
Project description:IMPORTANCE:Without third-party insurance, access to marketed drugs is limited to those who can afford to pay. We examined this phenomenon in the context of anticoagulation for patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF). OBJECTIVE:To determine whether, among older Ontarians receiving anticoagulation for NVAF, patients of higher socioeconomic status (SES) were more likely to switch from warfarin to dabigatran prior to its addition to the provincial formulary. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:Population-based retrospective cohort study of Ontarians aged 66 years and older, between 2008 and 2012. EXPOSURE:Socioeconomic status, as approximated by median neighborhood income. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURE:We identified two groups of older adults with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation: those who appeared to switch from warfarin to dabigatran after its market approval but prior to its inclusion on the provincial formulary ("switchers"), and those with ongoing warfarin use during the same interval ("non-switchers"). RESULTS:We studied 34,797 patients, including 3183 "switchers" and 31,614 "non-switchers". We found that higher SES was associated with switching to dabigatran prior to its coverage on the provincial formulary (p<0.0001). In multivariable analysis, subjects in the highest quintile were 50% more likely to switch to dabigatran than those in the lowest income quintile (11.3% vs. 7.3%; adjusted odds ratio 1.50; 95% CI 1.32 to 1.68). Following dabigatran's addition to the formulary, the income gradient disappeared. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:We documented socioeconomic inequality in access to dabigatran among patients receiving warfarin for NVAF. This disparity was eliminated following the drug's addition to the provincial formulary, highlighting the importance of timely reimbursement decisions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death worldwide. Inadequate and inequitable access to essential NCD medicines is a major concern, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. National Essential Medicines Lists (EMLs) are important policy tools that indicate which medicines are prioritized as essential within a country's health system. This study sought to analyze a wide range of national essential medicines lists (EMLs) for their inclusion of priority non communicable disease (NCD) interventions recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). METHODS:Three lists of WHO endorsed priority NCD interventions were included. A database with 137 national EMLs and the WHO EML was created from the WHO Repository and these EMLs were compared for listing of priority NCD interventions. RESULTS:Across 137 countries with national EMLs, the median percentage of 20 Best Buys interventions listed was 90% (IQR 80-95) and 31 Package of essential noncommunicable disease interventions (PEN) interventions listed was 94% (IQR 90-97), of 9 HEARTS interventions was 100% (IQR 89-100), and of the 43 unique interventions across the three priority lists was 88% (IQR 84-93). Less than 80% of the 43 interventions were listed by 22 (16%) countries and less than half of the interventions were listed by 2 countries: Angola (35%) and Cambodia (23%). Interventions listed on the fewest number of national EMLs were: influenza vaccine, HPV vaccine, hepatitis B vaccine, cervical cancer chemotherapy, codeine, promethazine, senna, and oxygen. CONCLUSION:Most NCD interventions have been prioritized in national policy in most cases. The majority of priority medicines for NCDs described within key WHO NCD technical packages are listed on nearly all national EMLs across 137 countries of all income levels. Most NCD interventions have been prioritized in national policy in most cases, but in some countries and for select interventions such as the HPV vaccine, prioritization may be reviewed.
Project description:Individuals who rely on public health payers to access new medicines can access fewer innovative medicines and must wait longer in Canada compared to major markets around the world. New medicines/indications approved by Health Canada and reviewed for eligibility for reimbursement by the Common Drug Review or the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (CDR/pCODR) from the beginning of 2012 through to the end of December 2016 were analyzed, with data taken from the relevant bodies' websites and collected by IQVIA. This analysis investigated individual review segments - Notice of Compliance (NOC) to Health Technology Assessment (HTA) submission, HTA review time, pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) negotiation time, and public reimbursement decision time, and analyzed the trends of each over time and contributions to overall time to listing decisions. Average overall timelines for public reimbursement after NOC were long and most of this time is taken up by HTA and pCPA processes, at 236 and 273 days, respectively. This study confirms that Canadian public reimbursement delays from 2013-2014 to 2015-2016 lengthened from NOC to listing (Quebec + 53%, first provincial listing + 38%, and country-wide listing + 22%), reaching 499, 505, and 571 days, respectively. Over the same period, time from NOC to completion of HTA has increased by 33%, and time from post-HTA to first provincial listing by 44%. The pCPA process appears to be the main contributor to this increasing time trend, and although some provinces could be listing more quickly post-pCPA, they appear to be listing fewer products. Reasons for large delays in time to listing include the many-layered sequential process of reviews conducted before public drug plans decide whether to provide access to new innovative medicines. Although there has been some headway made in certain parts of the review processes (e.g., pre-NOC HTA), total time to listing continues to increase, seemingly due to the pCPA process and other additional review processes by drug plans. More clarity in the pCPA and provincial decision-making processes and better coordination between HTA, pCPA, and provincial decision-making processes is needed to increase predictability in the processes and reduce timelines for Canadian patients and manufacturers.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Evidence of the context-specific challenges related to childhood cancer drug (CCD) access is vital to improving outcomes for children with cancer in low- and middle-income countries, such as Ghana. We sought to determine the availability and cost of essential CCD in Ghana and identify the underlying determinants of access. METHODS:Our study integrated quantitative data on drug prices and availability with qualitative insights into health system and sociopolitical determinants of CCD access in Ghana. We analysed retrospective monthly price and stock data for 41 cancer and supportive care drugs on the WHO Essential Medicines List (EML) from private retail and public institutional pharmacies. Non-parametric analyses evaluated relationships between drug price and availability, and impacts of drug class and formulation on availability and procurement efficiency. We assessed the determinants of drug access through thematic analysis of policy documents and semi-structured interviews (n=21) with key health system stakeholders. RESULTS:Ghana lists only 47% of essential CCD on its National EML, revealing gaps in domestic formulary inclusion. Stock-outs occurred for 88% of essential CCD, with a 70-day median stock-out duration; 32% had median price ratios above internationally-accepted efficiency thresholds. Drugs procured inefficiently were more susceptible to stock-outs (p=0.0003). Principal determinants of drug access included: (1) lack of sociopolitical priority afforded childhood cancer and (2) the impact of policy and regulatory environments on drug affordability, availability and quality. Establishment of a population-based cancer registry, a nationally-coordinated procurement strategy for CCD, public financing for childhood cancer care and policies to control drug costs emerged as priority interventions to improve drug access in Ghana. CONCLUSION:Our study provides context-specific evidence to enable responsive policy development for efficient drug procurement and supply management in Ghana and establishes a rigorous approach to the analysis of childhood cancer drug access in similar health system settings.