7. Expensive medicines
Promising and innovative medicines must be quickly available to patients. Everyone agrees on the importance of this. But these are often expensive medicines and, due to the high price, they are not available to every patient who needs them. Hospitals are spending more and more on expensive drugs and there is less and less budget available for other necessary expenses and investments. A drug can be expensive for several reasons. The producer of a drug may still have a patent that prevents others from producing it, there are high production costs or it is a drug for a rare disease for which there is little demand.
Appropriate use is stimulated for all patients of Maastricht UMC+ who take a biological. A specialised team from the biological bureau monitors all patients, and the number increases each year. The bureau supports doctors and patients with the aim of effectively using substances, more efficient work and cost savings. Read more
The major user Erasmus MC formulated a clear vision of the use of expensive medicines. With its partner Institute for Medical Technology Assessment (IMTA), Erasmus MC is taking the lead in the effective use of medicines and medical technology for sustainable care. Cost-saving projects and three case studies have been started.
In the Netherlands we throw away about €100 million of unused medicines (especially expensive ones) every year. Research conducted by UMCU and UMC Radboud showed that many of these medicines could be offered again to patients, after a quality check in the pharmacy. Some 60% of the patients participating in that research is prepared to take medicines that are being handed out for the second time. Read more
A study in the LUMC is examining whether a smart chip can help reduce the wastage of oral oncolytics. A register is also being created for data of ‘patient clinical outcomes’, including the effectiveness of the interventions.
Radboudumc is conducting projects that target the effective use of expensive medicines with the result: over- and undertreatment are prevented. They do this by defining start and stop criteria and selecting the right patients, by determining the optimal dose and treatment duration, and by stimulating patients to use medicines properly. Read more
UMCG is not only conducting research into expensive and orphan medicines, it is also supporting innovative projects derived from it regarding targeted and sensible use. These projects include more personalised (individualised) application of medicines, like proper patient selection, determining optimal dosages and innovative preparations like CAR T-cells.
The Pharma Insights Programme provides insight into the use of medicines at various levels (medicine, indication, patient group) and benchmark information and enables the UMCs to control the use of the substances. The insights can be applied for quality objectives and the effective use of medicines.