Latest survey shows disparities in access to new medicine
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Europe: Latest EFPIA WAIT survey shows disparities in patient access to new medicine


The latest EFPIA (Waiting to Access Innovative Therapies (WAIT) Indicator survey shows that there are increasing disparities in patient access to new medicines in different EU Member States.  

The study, compiled by IQVIA, covers 160 drugs, including 41 oncology drugs and 57 orphan drugs which received marketing authorisation between 2017 and 2020. For the purpose of the study, the concept of availability is defined as the “inclusion of a centrally-approved medicine on the public reimbursement list in a country”.

Key findings include: 

  • 91% of the drugs in the study have full public availability in Germany (1% limited availability). This compares to 69% of drugs fully available in Italy (11% limited availability), France 56% (10% limited availability), England 41% (26% limited availability) and Spain 31% (22% limited availability).  
  • Germany comes out top across the board. For oncology drugs 100% are fully available, while for orphan drugs 95% are fully available.  
  • In Italy, 90% of oncology drugs are available (78% fully available) and 75% of orphan drugs are available (63% fully available).  
  • In England, 85% of oncology drugs are available, with 46% fully available. For orphan drugs, 61% are available (44% fully available).  
  • In France, 80% of oncology drugs are available, with 66% fully available. For orphan drugs, 72% are available (54% fully available).  
  • In Spain meanwhile only 61% of oncology drugs are available; just 37% fully available. Only 44% of orphan drugs are available (23% fully available). 
  • In terms of time to availability (the days between marketing authorisation and the date of availability to patients ie the point at which the product gains access to the reimbursement list), Germany again came out top with time to availability of 133 days. This compares to 340 days in England, 429 days in Italy, 497 days in France and 517 days in Spain.  
  • EU average availability for all products studied was 46% (49% in 2020), and the average time to availability was 511 days (504 in 2020).  

EFPIA notes that the report underlines the “patient access inequities within Europe”. It goes on, “EFPIA believes that faster, more equitable access across Europe is an achievable goal. It requires a shared understanding of the barriers and delays as well as concrete commitments from industry, the EU and Member States to facilitate change in partnership”.  

Source:, “Shortening the WAIT – Patient Access to Medicines in Europe”, 6th April 2022 

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