On 13 March 2017, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) launched a public consultation on sustainable access to innovative therapies with the objective of improving patient access to innovative treatments while ensuring the sustainability of health spending.

The consultation is part of an initiative to promote a high-level international dialogue between stakeholders on access to innovative medicines and sustainability of pharmaceutical spending, which was endorsed by the OECD member countries and Health Ministers at the G7 Health Ministerial Meeting in Kobe in September 2016. The French Ministry of Health asked the OECD to act as the Secretariat for the initiative, which – in addition to the consultation – also includes the establishment of a high-level expert group to reflect on innovative options to pay for new medicines and the conduct of a prospective study to assess the sustainability of pharmaceutical spending (focused on therapeutic areas with a high budget impact for health systems such as oncology, rare diseases, HIV, Hepatitis C, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease).

Submissions should respond to one or more of the following questions:

  • Reflecting on the last 5-10 years, what do you think have been the major changes affecting access to medicines?
  • What are the top three issues that must be addressed to ensure access to innovative medicines while maintaining financial sustainability of health systems?
  • Why do you think there are issues in ensuring access to innovative medicines while maintaining financial sustainability of health systems?
  • What changes would you like to see happen to improve access to innovative therapies?

Stakeholders should submit their contributions in French or English online by 1 May 2017.

A prior version of this post was originally published by the same author in Practical Law – Life Sciences, March 2017 Issue (Thomson Reuters).