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Nine Countries Launch International Horizon Scanning Initiative to Track New Pharmaceuticals

  • 29/10/2019
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According to a press release of the Dutch government (see attached), nine countries started today the International Horizon Scanning Initiative (“IHSI”), a form of international cooperation that seeks to identify innovative medicines before they reach the market and that will inform decision-making on treatment and budgets in the participating countries (see, Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences Newsflashes of 18 July 2019 and 5 September 2019). IHSI is one of the governmental responses to the rising costs of new, often groundbreaking medicines in therapeutic areas such as immune disorders, neurological conditions and oncology.
The participating countries are Belgium, Ireland, Luxemburg and The Netherlands, which also take part in the wider-ranging Beneluxa initiative, as well as Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland. A number of non-European countries, such as Canada and South-Korea, are also understood to be interested in joining IHSI but will probably wait and see if the initiative is capable of delivering results.
A tender to create a database that will comprise scientific, pharmaceutical and financial information is now under preparation. The first horizon-scanning results are scheduled to emerge by the end of 2020. 


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