Critical Reflections on Reimbursement and Access of Advanced Therapies

Steven Simoens*, Katrien De Groote, Cornelis Boersma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The health economic literature has questioned the cost-effectiveness and affordability of advanced therapies, proposed adjustments to value assessment frameworks, and discussed the use of outcome-based managed entry agreements and staggered payments in the last few years. The aim of this manuscript is to conduct a critical reflection on assessment criteria and access conditions for reimbursement of advanced therapies. Methods: A narrative review of the peer-reviewed literature and grey literature was conducted in April 2021 by searching PubMed; Google Scholar; policy and legislative documents; websites of health technology assessment agencies, advanced therapy organisations, governmental advanced therapy innovation programmes, consultancy agencies; ISPOR conference abstracts and presentations. Results: Based on the available evidence, this manuscript argues that: a) advanced therapies can be cost-effective at high prices set by manufacturers; b) the economic evaluation framework adopted by many payers under-values these products; c) advanced therapies can be affordable and may not require spread payments; d) outcome-based managed entry agreements are theoretically attractive, but challenging in practice; e) the cost-effectiveness of advanced therapies depends on the outcome-based managed entry agreement and payment approach; f) there is a role for multinational collaborations to manage reimbursement and access of advanced therapies. Conclusions: This manuscript shows that there is no single approach to reimbursement and access of advanced therapies. Instead, we support a more tailored assessment of health economic aspects of advanced therapies, which considers the heterogeneity of these products and their target populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number771966
Number of pages14
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2022


  • advanced therapies
  • cost-effectiveness
  • managed entry agreements
  • market access
  • reimbursement
  • spread payments


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