BURLINGTON, Mass., Oct. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that Poland's increasing affluence, as well as its myriad reforms and policy initiatives on healthcare quality, access, privatization and financing, have contributed to growth in the country's pharmaceutical market during much of the last decade. Poland has experienced several years of significant growth in public drug reimbursement expenditure. With a $4.7 billion prescription drug market in 2012, this large and populous central European country holds strategic importance for multinational companies looking beyond the major pharmaceutical markets for growth opportunities.
However, according to the Poland Market Access Tracker, the market entry of multinationals in Poland is hampered by a number of challenges including the country's traditionally low prices for reimbursed drugs, its relatively high patient copayment levels, a large market share for generic drugs and its relatively low spend on healthcare as a percentage of gross domestic product. Additionally, the 2012 Reimbursement of Medicines, Foodstuffs Intended for Particular Nutritional Purposes and Medical Devices Act (commonly known as the "Reimbursement Act") has caused radical changes in drug assessment, pricing and reimbursement, and has—in a very short time frame—become one of the most restrictive reimbursement regulations in all Europe. After several years of healthy growth in the prescription drugs sector in Poland, the Reimbursement Act drove a sharp 13.4 percent decline in prescription drug sales in 2012.
"Poland's initiatives on improving the transparency of drug pricing and reimbursement and on the use of health technology assessment to foster cost-effective use of drugs can ultimately benefit innovators who show the clinical and economic benefits of their therapies to the Polish health system," said Decision Resources Analyst Laurie DiModica, M.S. "Drug manufacturers operating in Poland now have the opportunity to enter into risk-sharing agreements with the government based on clinical outcomes and expected cost savings. This has enabled drug makers to avoid the potential for a hefty payback required of manufacturers when the government's drug reimbursement spending exceeds 17 percent of the annual public healthcare budget. Further, the next few years will be critical to the industry, as the Polish government has signaled its intention to reallocate savings generated through the Reimbursement Act into increasing access to innovative, cost-effective medicines."
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