Estimating the budget impact of orphan drugs in Sweden and France 2013–2020

Background: The growth in expenditure on orphan medicinal products (OMP) across Europe has been identified as a concern. Estimates of future expenditure in Europe have suggested that OMPs could account for a significant proportion of total pharmaceutical expenditure in some countries, but few of these forecasts have been well validated. This analysis aims to establish a robust forecast of the future budget impact of OMPs on the healthcare systems in Sweden and France. Methods: A dynamic forecasting model was created to estimate the budget impact of OMPs in Sweden and France between 2013 and 2020. The model used historical data on OMP designation and approval rates to predict the number of new OMPs coming to the market. Average OMP sales were estimated for each year post-launch by regression analysis of historical sales data. Total forecast sales were compared with expected sales of all pharmaceuticals in each country to quantify the relative budget impact. Results: The model predicts that by 2020, 152 OMPs will have marketing authorization in Europe. The base case OMP budget impacts are forecast to grow from 2.7% in Sweden and 3.2% in France of total drug expenditure in 2013 to 4.1% in Sweden and 4.9% in France by 2020. The principal driver of expenditure growth is the number of new OMPs obtaining OMP designation. This is tempered by the slowing success rate for new approvals and the loss of intellectual property protection on existing orphan medicines. Given the forward-looking nature of the analysis, uncertainty exists around model parameters and sensitivity analysis found peak year budget impact varying between 2% and 11%. Conclusion: The budget impact of OMPs in Sweden and France is likely to remain sustainable over time and a relatively small proportion of total pharmaceutical expenditure. This forecast could be affected by changes in the success rate for OMP approvals, average cost of OMPs, and the type of companies developing OMPs.