World EPA Congress 2023: Our Takeaways

March 30th, 2023

It was another standout World Evidence, Pricing and Access (EPA) Congress this March. More than 1,200 delegates attended to visit 100 exhibitors and watch 300 presentations at the RAI Congress Centre in Amsterdam.

This year’s resounding themes were focusing on the patient perspective, putting them at the heart of market access. These themes extended to the true definition of patient outcomes, and the need to look beyond initial patient care.

Nothing stands still in market access, and we were encouraged to “never stop exploring”. 

Key messages on the growth of the market access function

Echoing the sentiment of never standing still, we turn to the panel discussions. On Day 1, speakers from A.M. Pharma, GSK and Janssen discussed Exploring the use of access operating models.

Christoph Glaetzer, Chief Global Value and Access Officer at The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson said: At its core, market access is not a function, it’s a strategy. And it’s because we need subject matter experts that it became a function.”

Within this, we are seeing an evolution of market access, with more light being shone on price function.

Making medicines available to patients

The event also highlighted some key statistics around medicine availability. Notable conclusions were the relatively high speed of access in Germany, compared to the concerningly slow pace in Romania.

There continue to be discrepancies across Europe. In Germany, only 8% of medicines are unavailable, whereas Spain suffers from 47% unavailability, and Lithuania 83%. We may see additional challenges as the UK turns to a US-like model for regulatory decisions.

In general, many low-middle-income countries have been overlooked when it comes to country registrations and P&R strategies. Our hope is that the new trends in access planning will improve access for all.

Feedback from the Access Infinity stand

Away from the panels, the whole Access Infinity team loved connecting with delegates on our stand. In particular, visitors showed a keen interest in:

  • The digitalisation of market access
  • Overall digital transformation in market access planning
  • How to use modern tech to streamline processes and make teams more efficient.
On the first day of the event, we were delighted to announce the availability of our NURO solution on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, making it even easier for organisations to subscribe to our platform through their existing Microsoft Enterprise Agreement. Read the full story here.
Our teams also had some keen insights to share from the patient perspective. In particular, it’s essential to monitor the patient not only during their treatment, but afterwards. Patient-reported outcomes are ideal for measuring this, looking at real-world evidence as well as general outcomes.

Thought-provoking talks from our team

In addition to our stand, we took to the stage. Digital Solutions Product Owner Thomas Gilboy  on Day 1 and Founding Director Shri Mukku on Day 2. We delivered game-changing insights on the state of market access right now, plus actionable tips for analogue analysis.

The talks underscored the influence of market access and pricing functions on clinical and commercial operations. They also addressed the common mistakes made and how to avoid them – as guided by more than 10 years’ experience in the industry.

The future of access planning: key opportunities

Looking to the future, the conference wound down with an overview of emerging trends. These started with better access planning, focusing on affordability and inclusive business models. Proponents of this strategy include:

  • Sanofi’s non-profit impact brand
  • Pfizer’s accord for a healthier world.

With these influential brands at the helm, we should see these trends start to increase. Another brand setting a new trend is Novartis. The Novartis Access Model aims to increase access to on- and off-patent medicines for noncommunicable diseases in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Best practices from world-leading brands

The Novartis name came up again as a leading example of tailored pricing strategies. Joining them were GSK and Pfizer, who have implemented strong access strategies among different income classifications.

These have given rise to new opportunities in product delivery and access planning. On top of equitable pricing strategies, we’ll also see more registrations and the use of non-exclusive voluntary licensing. In the future, this may lead to further scaling in access.

On the access planning front, there is now more focus on comprehensive plans for late-stage R&D products. The quality of these plans will be improved, no doubt bolstered by technology like Access Infinity.

Looking ahead to 2024

It’s hard to believe that after three days, 300 talks and 100 exhibitors, the World EPA Congress is over for another year. We’re excited to see these trends develop, taking a patient-first approach and making medicines accessible to all.

The World EPA Congress returns to Amsterdam between March 12 and 13, 2024.

We’re also heading out to ISPOR US and Europe events later this year, we look forward to seeing many of you soon! 

Missed the event and want to connect with us? Get in touch here.