Every country in Europe follows other regulations and mechanisms for the reimbursement of medical devices.
Although one can summarize the “Nordics” as an economic region. As far as pricing and reimbursement are concerned, the differences between regulations and procedures are huge. Norway, for example, has a “9-country rule”, in Sweden reimbursement is completely in the hands of local counties, while a “Pharma Pricing Board” is established for that in Finland and in Denmark a health economic documentation is no obligation. Turning West, in Belgium there is a centralized institution which is responsible for individual reimbursement of medical devices. For the Netherlands, you have to know that the influence of health insurance companies is considerable when it comes to what products to reimburse and how much.
Health Economics, Pricing, Reimbursement
With the importance of market access the importance of health economists increases, too. Why? Because many European countries demand Health Technology Assessments (HTA), economic & cost models, competitive analysis, writing of value dossiers, evaluation of clinical data. And you always need to have a national or global pricing strategy in place. Beyond that, it is key to know how to deal with health insurance companies and health institutions as well as being up-to-date with policy trends. Obviously, there is a wide scope of topics within market access in which a specialization in certain subjects often makes sense. Therefore freelance consultants also offer specialized service and so provide the best value.
Business Development & Lobbying
Another field which can be subsumed under market access is lobbying. A complex and important area, because you will meet compliance issues here (e.g. concerning the relationship between companies and doctors, associations or decision-influencers). Lobbying is essential for any industry. A major role is played by national business associations, in whose ranks you will find managing directors and executives of industrial companies, like the “Bundesverband Medizintechnologie” BVMed, Austromed, Fasmed, FHI, Medicoindustrien, UNAMEC oder Medteck Norway. These are networks, you don’t want to miss.
It can happen to you at any time: parental leave, sudden illness or employees with rare skill-sets leaving your company. All of a sudden you lack essential brain power for your business.