Following the workshop at the European Parliament in Brussels earlier this year, Dr Denis Lacombe, EORTC Director General, presented the well-received preliminary results of the study, “Innovative solutions from research into healthcare”, to the Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) panel in Strasbourg, France in March. In the STOA-funded study, EORTC collated information from interviewees regarding the current way drugs are developed, access to the market, and what could optimize treatment.
The study confirmed that drug development is still not sufficiently patient-centred and that there is a lack of real-world evidence supporting the use of many drugs, which creates uncertainty around new drugs. There was broad support in Strasbourg for collaboration around treatment optimisation studies, which are not new but are still not systematically implemented in drug development.
The study’s preliminary results are in line with EORTC’s manifesto for “a new approach for better medicine in Europe – Establishing treatment optimization as part of personalized medicine development”, which was launched at the European Parliament in Brussels in January 2019. The current version of the manifesto is accessible here. The Manifesto emphasizes that treatment optimisation should be a mandatory step in the treatment’s path to market access; should not delay patient access to innovative therapies; and should be based on partnership between pharma, academics, patients and funded by public and private sources.
EORTC and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) in Belgium are investigating how to revise Managed Entry Agreements to include mandatory research on treatment optimization, and implement it at technical and political levels.