Many of our clients have been asking us about the impact of COVID-19 on coverage approvals and the management of prescription drugs. We used our rapid response PayerLIVE survey instrument to get some reactions from U.S., EU and Canadian payers with respect to the impact of COVID-19 on their functioning, pharma industry relationships and expectations for the near future.
The survey provides a lot of answers to many aspects of short- and medium-term changes as a result of the COVID crisis, including the impact on coverage decision processes and timing, resource reallocations, collaboration opportunities for pharma and the expected impact on drug budgets.
We’ve seen COVID-19 have a severe impact on healthcare systems around the world with a shift to virtual meetings and a desperate need for effective treatments, manpower, equipment and supply challenges. As a result of the COVID crisis, payers expect delays in coverage approvals in the short term. Emerging fiscal pressures and the need to invest in acute care capabilities, and improving the supply chain, will likely result in future drug budget cuts and associated price and access negotiation challenges.
Payers have generally experienced the pharma industry’s response to the crisis as positive to neutral, and they’re asking to show restraint with price increases and to be patient with ongoing review processes that don’t involve critical care drugs. When asked about collaboration opportunities, payers mentioned vaccine programs, diagnostic programs, digital and connected health, and real-world evidence.