National Healthcare Institute (ZIN), Diemen, the Netherlands; Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Clinical Pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht, the Netherlands. Electronic address: [Email]
BACKGROUND : Conditional financing (CF) of expensive hospital drugs was applied in the Netherlands between 2006 and 2012; a 4-year coverage with evidence development (CED) framework for expensive hospital drugs. This study aims to evaluate the CF framework, focusing on Health Technology Assessment (HTA) procedures. METHODS : Using a standardised data extraction form, researchers independently extracted information on procedural, methodological and decision-making aspects from HTA reports of drugs selected for CF. RESULTS : Forty-nine drugs were chosen for CF, of which 12 underwent the full procedure. The procedure extended beyond the envisioned 4 years period for 11/12 drugs. Outcomes research studies conducted as part of CF provided insufficient scientific data to reach conclusions on appropriate use and cost-effectiveness of 5/12 drugs. After re-assessment, continuation of reimbursement was advised for 10/12 drugs, with 6 necessitating yet additional conditions for evidence generation. Notably, advice to discontinue reimbursement for 2/12 drugs has not yet been implemented in Dutch healthcare practice. CONCLUSIONS : Theoretically, CF provided an option for quick but conditional access to drugs. However, numerous aspects related to the design and implementation of CF negatively affected its value in practice. Future CED schemes should aim to incorporate learnings from the CF example to increase their impact in healthcare practice.