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BeNeLuxa: New Developments 

Beneluxa is a multi-lateral cooperative initiative entailing information sharing and the pooling of resources to bolster countries’ positions in drug price negotiations. Ireland became a member of Beneluxa in July 2018 and there have been a number of recent changes to note in this area.

2015 - 2018

Beneluxa formed

Negotiations for Orkambi end unsuccessfully

Successful joint negotiation on Spinraza; Ireland joings Beneluxa


Launch of the International  Horizon Scanning Initiative (IHSI);  an early warning system initiated by Beneluxa to alert health care systems  of new drugs in company pipelines. Consolidating this information will allow greater visibility on new treatments and may improve the leveraging position of countries by providing information on  competing products coming  to market.

Meeting of the Beneluxa Steering Committee and General Assembly. Topics discussed included:

  • Launch of ISHI
  • HTA report templates
  • Improving transparency

January 2020

The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) published a reflection paper analysing the current state of play regarding Beneluxa and highlighting important issues moving forward; notably that the sharing of information and processes between countries should be the primary goal of the initiative, with joint price negotiations being of secondary importance.

The EPHA report on Beneluxa can be found here.

Spring 2020

The  new Horizon Scanning System (HSS) database , which will contain all the relevant horizon scanning information from the ISHI, is currently in the tendering process with the full tender expected to be published in Spring 2020. Notably, this database will be available to non-Beneluxa and non-EU countries and will be based on a tiered  membership scheme that will charge varying fees for different levels of access to the database.

Looking forward: The future of BeNeLuxa

The EPHA report provides a promising outlook for the future of the Beneluxa project, as well as other cross-country initiatives such as the Valletta Declaration; an alliance of small to medium-sized European countries which aims to jointly negotiate prices with the pharmaceutical industry. Transparency remains an important theme in the Beneluxa narrative. Joint information sharing and negotiations will hopefully initiate a move towards a more unified front on information levels and willingness to pay thresholds. While this process may benefit pharmaceutical companies by accelerating the reimbursement process , it could also pose challenges by altering the status quo on current drug pricing processes, especially if member countries establish willingness to pay thresholds prior to companies submitting their initial list price, as noted by the EPHA report. Beneluxa appears to be in a conciliatory phase currently (the last product to be approved via the Beneluxa channels was Spinraza in 2018) however, 2020 will hopefully see new joint assessments of novel drugs as well as the full roll out of the HSS database.

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