Priority Medicines for Europe and the World 2013 Update. Background Paper 4 - Methods Used
(2013; 31 pages)


The methodology described in this background paper aims to determine pharmaceutical gaps and to create a public health-based research agenda for the EU. In May 2012, a European Commission Working Group meeting was held in Brussels with specific focus to update the Priority Medicines for Europe and the World report (see updated Background paper Chapter 1, Appendix 1.1c). The meeting was hosted by DG Enterprise and Industry. Representatives from Belgium, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, and various organizations European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), European Patients Forum (EPF), Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP), European Association for Bio-industries (EuropaBio), and the World Health Organization (WHO) were present.

The group agreed that the 2004 Priority Medicines for Europe and the World report "… continues to be relevant in its structure and methodology". The Working Group decided that the update should follow a dual approach. First, the WHO was tasked with checking whether the therapeutic areas identified in the 2004 report were still appropriate. Second, the WHO was asked to update the 2004 data in Chapters 1 to 6 covering the various priority therapeutic areas. The issues of diagnostics were to be added in those chapters whenever relevant.
Chapter 7 on cross-cutting themes and Chapter 8 on new approaches to promoting innovation were to be updated with a different methodology (see updated Background Chapters 7 and 8).

Reviewers first performed a review of demographic factors (life expectancy, age distribution and the like) for countries in Europe, including EU27 and the world to set the context for the report (see section 2 for data sources and updated Chapter 5 for results). Reviewers then followed the methodology outlined in Figure 4.1.

This Project has combined a number of methods to produce a methodology that can be used for priority setting at country, regional and global levels. The method is intended to be explicit and reproducible (source data are provided on the CD-ROM and website). This chapter provides details of the four complementary approaches used: the evidence-based approach; future projections approach; the risk factor approach; and the social solidarity approach.

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