At the end of September, the Council of Ministers adopted the document “State Medical Policy 2018-2022”, which defines the priorities of Polish activities in the field of drug management. It is worth noting that this document is of strategic character and does not directly introduce any legal solutions. It sets medium- and long-term goals for participants and decision-makers of the pharmaceutical market and identifies the main tools for their achievements.
In the area of preventive vaccination, it is planned, among others, to extend access to vaccination in order to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases, as well as to inhibit the growth of non-vaccinated persons and improve supervision over the storage, disposal and utilization of vaccines.
The increase in the availability of medicines is to be achieved, inter alia, by increasing the number of clinical trials conducted in Poland (including non-commercial trials), optimising the authorisation of medicinal products and increasing the number of mutual recognition and decentralised procedures, in which Poland is indicated as a reference country. It is also planned to introduce tools that will reduce the phenomenon of lack of medicinal products in pharmacies (implementation of the Integrated System of Monitoring the Marketing of Medicinal Products – ZSMOPL) and to change the frequency of publication of reimbursement lists – from two to three months, which is to enable better management of medicines in pharmacies.
The Ministry of Health also wants to improve the efficiency of the use of public funds and ensure stable financing for reimbursed drugs. This will be achieved, among others, by determining the actual budget for reimbursements at the level of 16.5-17.0% of health care financing expenditures and introducing the principle of creating a financial plan for the National Health Fund, where the planned budget for reimbursement will be increased by an independently created revenue plan for risk sharing instruments.
Financial tools will also be introduced to allow paying for the assumed therapeutic effect of a given medicine, and not only for administering it to the patient.
The Ministry also announces shortening the time of obtaining a reimbursement decision by minimizing the administrative burden, early dialogue with pharmaceutical companies and introduction of horizon scanning, i.e. determining the areas that have the greatest potential for a given medicine in the Polish healthcare system.
The State Medical Policy also assumes the strengthening and development of the Polish pharmaceutical sector. It is planned to establish the Medical Research Agency (which will coordinate non-commercial clinical trials, non-commercial medical technology research and observational studies) and the Virtual Institute of Medical Biotechnology, whose aim will be to stimulate the development of multidisciplinary research teams for the development of biomedical and biotechnological products.