Based on a recent decision by the Interministerial Commission on Medicines Prices (Comisión Interministerial de Precios de los Medicamentos, CIPM), offering a price lower than therapeutic alternatives may no longer be enough to secure reimbursement in Spain.
At a 3rd February 2022 meeting, the CIPM recommended against funding Novartis’ Beovu (brolucizumab) for the treatment of neovascular exudative age-related macular degeneration on the grounds of “the reduced differential in the maximum price offered with respect to other therapeutic alternatives available for the same conditions for which there is much more experience of use, in additional to criteria of rationalisation of public spending on pharmaceuticals and budgetary impact on the national health system”. According to Diariofarma, this effectively means that it is no longer enough to offer a price lower than therapeutic alternatives to secure funding. In this case, the price reduction was not large enough to justify funding where there are alternatives available for which there is more experience of use. Significantly, there are no rules, either formal or informal, as to what an adequate price reduction would be.
Diariofarma notes that the decision and reasoning “deepens the situation of lack of legal certainty that pharmaceutical companies have to face when obtaining financing for a drug. It is no longer enough to match the price and offer improvements in the clinical field. Not even by offering a lower price”.
Diariofarma goes on to note that it is not clear if this approach will be applied in a generalised way in the future.