Positive outcome of joint reimbursement negotiations on Spinraza

Beneluxa Initiative partners Belgium and the Netherlands successfully negotiated the price of Spinraza

Belgium and the Netherlands have reached an agreement on the pricing of Spinraza, a drug for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Spinraza will be reimbursed for specific groups of patients in both countries.

The agreement on Spinraza is the first positive outcome of a joint negotiation of the Beneluxa Initiative. As a result of negotiations, which started in February of this year, Spinraza will be reimbursed in both countries under similar conditions. The joint process consisted of a joint Health Technology Assessment, followed by  a joint price negotiation.

Although previous pilots have proven that joint negotiations can be successful, this particular case is a great achievement that benefits patients in both countries.

Ireland has recently joined the Beneluxa Initiave too. With several pilots ongoing, the aim is to expand future negotiations with other Beneluxa partners and to enhance efficiency by streamlining reimbursement processes in different countries.

Bruno Bruins: ‘First and foremost, the positive outcome is wonderful news for the young SMA patients and their families, both in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is also a very clear and promising example of the benefits of working together on price negotiations and pharmaceutical policy. Biogen’s willingness to engage in a joint process and discover the benefits of gaining swift access in several markets at the same time is a positive development. Therefore I hope  more companies will follow this example.

Maggie de Block: ‘I am delighted to be able to make this orphan drug available to our SMA patients, barely one year after it received a marketing authorization. There was no treatment at all for these patients, but that is now changing. This means a giant step forward for these people and their families. At the same time, I am very proud of how we have tackled this. Today, we demonstrate that countries can jointly negotiate the reimbursement of orphan drugs to the benefit of their patients. This is a very important signal for everyone involved in BeNeLuxA and an extra motivation to further develop this international cooperation.

Beneluxa achievements 
In 2015 the Beneluxa cooperation was initiated aiming for sustainable access to, and appropriate use of medicines in the participating countries. Together, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria and Ireland want to enhance patients’ access to high quality and affordable pharmaceutical treatments. The cooperation is not limited to joint pricing negotiations. The coalition also works together closely on a horizon scanning, to explore which innovative – often extremely expensive – medicines are expected to reach the market in the near future. In addition, the Beneluxa partners conduct joint health technology assessments and share data and policies. The collaboration recently introduced the international horizon scanning initiative (IHSI), that goes beyond the current coalition of countries. Its goal is to build a permanent horizon scanning system that can support countries and institutions in policy planning and their decision making regarding the reimbursement of new pharmaceuticals. A wide group of countries is currently invested in developing the IHSI further.

More info on the Beneluxa Initiative can be found on http://www.beneluxa.org/

For more specific details on the reimbursement of Spinraza in Belgium and the Netherlands, read the specific press releases:

NL: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/ministeries/ministerie-van-volksgezondheid-welzijn-en-sport/nieuws/2018/07/12/minister-bruno-bruins-bereikt-akkoord-over-vergoeding-spinraza

BE (Dutch): http://www.deblock.belgium.be/nl/positief-nieuws-voor-pati%C3%ABnten-met-zeldzame-spierziekte-5q-sma

BE (French): http://www.deblock.belgium.be/fr/bonne-nouvelle-pour-les-patients-atteints-d%E2%80%99amyotrophie-spinale-une-maladie-rare