Pharmacoeconomic evaluation in Egypt and its role in the medicine reimbursement
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Aim: The purpose of this research was to assess the validity of pharmacoeconomic evaluation in Egypt three years after the guideline was issued and analyse challenges and opportunities for improvement. Objectives: To conduct a literature review of pricing, medicine reimbursement, and pharmacoeconomic evaluation. Examine, in conjunction with relevant stakeholders, the progress of the pharmacoeconomic evaluation. To present examples of pharmacoeconomic evaluation deployment. To propose recommendations on how to optimize the pharmacoeconomic implementation. Methods: A literature review and a qualitative research method that was conducted using a semi-structured interview with stakeholders of the reimbursement process in Egypt. In addition, examples were analysed to determine the impact of pharmacoeconomic methods on medicine reimbursement in Egypt. Results: The Egyptian Pharmacoeconomic Evaluation Unit was established in 2013, it supports various reimbursement decisions, especially for new technologies. The unit evaluations depended mainly on the available international data. However, fragmentation of the health care system in Egypt is a major obstacle to progress. The guidelines are still non-compulsory for implementation, and accordingly some reimbursement committees do not consider its evaluation in its decision making. Conclusion and Recommendations: The pharmacoeconomic evaluation has demonstrated a good start in Egypt. To gain the full benefit of pharmacoeconomic evaluation, authorities need to consider reducing the complexity of health care system, setting clear strategies, building capabilities to improve pharmacoeconomic awareness; endorsing risk sharing strategy and building a proper health related information system along with creation of full Health Technology Assessment program. The above-mentioned recommendations could be associated together under the Universal Health Coverage road map that Egypt committed to achieve by 2030.