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Title: Access to orphan drugs – comparison across Balkan countries
Authors: Pejcic, Ana
Iskrov, Georgi
Jakovljevic, Mihajlo
Stefanov, Rumen
Issue Date: 2018
Abstract: © 2018 Elsevier B.V. The aim of this study was to compare orphan drug access in a sample of Balkan countries: five EU Member States (Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Romania, Slovenia) and two EU Candidates (Serbia, Montenegro). The comparative analysis was based on a cross-sectional study and included medicinal products with an active orphan designation and market authorisation on January 1, 2017. Access to orphan drugs is an ongoing challenge in these countries. Three clusters of countries were identified in terms of orphan drug access: Greece and Slovenia, making the top tier, Romania, Bulgaria, and Croatia, being in the middle, and EU Candidates, Serbia and Montenegro, forming the bottom tier, where a substantial number of EU market approved orphan drugs was not even registered. Available public health resources and market size are probably among the contributing factors for such inequalities. Sizeable part of EMA market authorised orphan medicinal products is not even priced in the Balkan countries. This is a serious issue, which is putting rare disease patients from this region in a particularly vulnerable situation. There is a need for further improvement in accessibility of orphan drugs in the Balkan countries. Cross-border collaboration in the field of pricing, health technology assessment, and reimbursement negotiation of orphan drugs may help to address these challenges.
Type: review
DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2018.04.009
ISSN: 0168-8510
SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-85046765906
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Medical Sciences, Kragujevac

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