Rare diseases medicines: how is patient access in European countries?

A study published in Science Direct investigates rare diseases patient access to orphan and non-orphan medicines in Europe. The authors’ aim was to evaluate patient access to 125 authorised medicines between 2005 and 2014, using three measures:

  • The number of available medicines
  • Time of continuous use
  • Medicine expenditure

The study shows that patients from Germany, Scandinavian countries, Switzerland, France and the UK have a greater access to medicines in a shorter time compared to other European countries, and that France, Germany and Switzerland have a largest medicine expenditure. The study also mentioned the average time of continuous use for orphan medicines in European countries is around 1.6 years (uninterrupted use). The authors highlight obvious inequities between European countries when evaluating patient access to medicines, and the need to implement new strategies to assess this issue.

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(source: OrphaNews April 3, 2018)