Tuesday, June 18, 2024

New Strategies for Projecting Pharmaceutical Expenditures in Belgium: Insights from KCE’s 2024 Report

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A new report published by the Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre (KCE) provides a comprehensive framework for projecting pharmaceutical expenditures in Belgium. KCE Report 381 emphasizes the importance of integrating horizon scanning and expert opinions in forecasting pharmaceutical costs. The report addresses the potential budgetary impacts of new treatments and advanced therapies, aiming to facilitate more sustainable management of pharmaceutical expenditures in Belgium.

KCE Report 381 tackles the challenges Belgium faces in projecting pharmaceutical expenditures. The report highlights the rapid increase in hospital medicine costs, complicating budget forecasts. It details the concepts of gross and net expenditure and emphasizes the critical role of Managed Entry Agreements (MEAs) in this process. MEAs serve as a crucial tool in ensuring patient access to expensive new treatments.

The report states that Belgium currently employs both “top-down” and “bottom-up” methods for projecting pharmaceutical expenditures. However, it underscores the necessity of horizon scanning when these methods fall short. Horizon scanning aims to predict the impacts of new treatments and advanced therapies by systematically monitoring the pharmaceutical pipeline.

Systematic Projections for Pharmaceutical Expenditures: A Four-Phase Approach to Horizon Scanning

The primary objectives outlined in the report are to develop recommendations for systematic projections of pharmaceutical expenditures using horizon scanning and to ensure structural implementation of these projections. To achieve this, a four-phase methodology has been adopted: Exploratory, Conceptual, Pilot, and Reflection. These phases are based on literature reviews and expert consultations.

During the Exploratory phase, current methods applied in Western countries were mapped, and expert opinions were gathered, resulting in the identification of six different models. These models cover various countries and types of pharmaceuticals. In the Conceptual phase, recommendations were developed based on best practices, focusing on integrating horizon scanning into expenditure projections and emphasizing the effective use of data.

The Pilot phase aims to test the proposed methodologies in a proof-of-concept study, comparing forecasts with actual expenditures to validate the approach. In the Reflection phase, lessons learned and practical recommendations are discussed, highlighting the need for continuous improvement and adaptation of methods.

Pharmaceutical Expenditures

Key Recommendations for Sustainable Pharmaceutical Expenditures in Belgium

The key recommendations of the report include the integration of horizon scanning, improving data utilization, involving experts in the forecasting process, conducting regular updates, and addressing uncertainties through scenario analysis. These recommendations are seen as crucial steps towards making Belgium’s pharmaceutical expenditures more sustainable and accessible.

The report has been prepared with contributions from numerous national and international experts, health authorities, and academics. This extensive participation enhances the scientific quality and applicability of the report. The experts provide critical recommendations that will inform decision-making processes related to Belgium’s health policies and pharmaceutical expenditures.

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KCE emphasizes the need for continuous improvements to make pharmaceutical expenditure projections more accurate and effective. In this context, international collaborations and regular data updates are deemed crucial. The report also serves as a guide for future research and applications.


Resource: Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre, April 30, 2024

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