The purchasing organizations behind the Nordic Pharmaceutical Forum have now approved common guidelines and criteria for joint price negotiations on new medicines. The goal is more favorable and sustainable prices. And that the medicines reach the patients faster.

We’ve done it before. And we will do it again. Joint Nordic negotiations are here to stay.

Therefore, the purchasing organizations in Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark have agreed on guidelines and criteria for joint price negotiations for new medicines.

The new principles are based on the experiences that the countries have gained from the joint Nordic negotiations that have already taken place.

– In the joint Nordic strategy that we launched in spring 2023, we have an ambition to strengthen the joint negotiations on new medicines. Therefore, it is a completely natural next step that we are now taking by developing common guidelines for our future negotiations. It sends a clear signal in favor of our partners, says Flemming Sonne, CEO of Amgros.

The four countries have already carried out joint price negotiations on the gene therapies Zynteglo and Libmeldy. These experiences show that there are clear advantages to joint negotiations.

– Joint negotiations between the countries create a larger market. This can make it more attractive for our suppliers, as it can increase the possibility of introducing new medicines to a combined Nordic market at once. As citizens of small countries, joint negotiations are therefore a clear advantage for both Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, says Hulda Harðardóttir, project manager for Pharmaceutical Procurement Department Landspítali, The National University Hospital of Iceland.

The same challenges for the countries

The challenges with new medicines are the same in all the Nordic countries. They are often associated with high costs and limited evidence. The countries therefore all want to be able to negotiate more favorable and sustainable prices that make it possible to ensure patients have access to new medicines at the right time.

– Here, with our joint negotiations, we can contribute to supporting the national decision-makers who help decide whether the countries should adopt new medicines. I believe that in the long term this will have a significant impact on the prioritization of the many new medicines that are constantly coming onto the market, says Tommy Juhl Nielsen, director of the medicines division in Norwegian Hospital Procurement Trust (Sykehusinnkjøp).

The suppliers get one contact person

Although the joint negotiations take place with purchasing organizations in four different countries, the countries have tried to organize the principles as simply as possible. So that suppliers do not experience bureaucratic difficulties.

The supplier will have one contact person who represents all the countries that may have to participate in a negotiation. And the result of the negotiations will be the same in all countries. But above all, the joint guidelines will make the criteria for the negotiations more transparent.

– We think this is a very important advantage. The suppliers have a right to know the criteria for our joint negotiations. It will support their business. And although I already think that we have a very good relationship with our suppliers, clearer guidelines can strengthen trust in the work that takes place in the countries’ purchasing organisations, says NT councilor Gerd Lärfars.

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