Call for abstracts

Specific sessions of the conference will be dedicated to allow researchers and policy-makers to present and discuss pharmaceutical policies.

You are very warmly invited to submit your abstracts by 16 June 2019, 23:59 hours CEST. 

The presentations of accepted abstracts are scheduled for sessions either on Wednesday, 23 October 2019 from 14:00 to 17:00 hours, or on Thursday, 24 October 2019 from 10:30 to 12:00 hours. There will be three parallel sessions for the three strands of the conference (see details below).


1)    Online submission procedure and deadlines

Abstracts can be submitted electronically through the conference website via an online form:

Please follow the guidelines for online submission.

Abstract submission deadline: 16 June 2019 (23:59 hours CEST); an early submission of abstracts is recommended and highly appreciated. 

Information on acceptance: You will be informed by mid July 2019 if your abstract is accepted and in which form it can be presented (oral presentation, brief poster presentation, poster without presentation; see further details below). 

2)    Different types of submissions and presentations

If your abstract is accepted, there are three possibilities of presenting your work:

  1. Oral presentation
    Authors of the highest rated submissions per strand will be invited to present their work during a presentation of maximum 10 minutes, followed by a brief question & answer period. For each of the three strands (see below), five abstracts will be selected for an oral presentation. 
  2. Brief poster presentations 
    Authors of high rated submissions will be invited to present their work during a brief oral presentation of their poster (no slides). The presentation should be limited to 5 minutes and will be followed by a brief question & answer period (max. 5 minutes). Four poster submissions per strand will be selected.
  3. Posters (without oral presentation)
    In addition, further accepted submissions will be granted the possibility to be displayed as a poster (no presentation) at a defined exhibition area.

Please note that the best oral presentation and the best poster will be awarded and recognized at the conference (presentation award, poster award). 

3)    Size and language 

The abstract text must not exceed 400 words. These 400 words do not include title, authors and affiliations, keywords, tables and figures, references and funding sources. Submissions should relate to completed or ongoing research (with preliminary results) and must be in English (spelling within one abstract should be US English or UK English, but not a mixture). 

4)    Strands

Abstracts can be submitted in one of the following strands:

Strand 1: Local challenges, global learnings? What can other countries learn from best-practice examples in the field of pricing and reimbursement of medicines?

Description: A variety of pharmaceutical policies, including pricing and reimbursement measures, is used in national health systems to achieve equitable access to medicines for all patients at affordable costs. Even if there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ model and policies have to be aligned to a country’s health system’s priorities, cross-country learning can be highly beneficial. Both good-practice examples as well as experiences of less successful policy implementations can guide policy-makers in developing their mix of policy options that is most appropriate to achieve a country’s defined policy objectives and to deal with current challenges (limited resources, high prices of medicines, non-availability of essential medicines, limited transparency, counterfeits, shortages). Lessons learned on established policies (such as external price referencing, introduction or change of the remuneration of pharmacies, generic policies, outpatient benefits package schemes) are of interest. In addition, sharing of experiences on more recent policies and models (e.g. measures to enhance the uptake of biosimilars, managed-entry agreements, collaborative approaches, horizon scanning, MCDA and other methodologies for evidence-informed decision-making) is highly appreciated.

In this strand we are looking for good-/best-practice examples in terms of increasing access and affordability of medicines, whose learning could be transferred to other setting. We are specifically interested in impact assessments and evaluations that analysed the effectiveness of policies. Success factors and supporting principles should be identified.

Strand 2: ‘Fake’ prices – Are price surveys still useful? The value of list prices against the backdrop of external price referencing and managed entry agreements.

Description: A frequently used policy to set pharmaceutical prices is external price referencing which usually refers to official list prices published by authorities in other countries. However, the value of this price information can be challenged since, particularly for high-priced medicines, their prices do not correspond to the ones paid by the health system: in several cases, public payers and purchasers (e.g. health insurance institutions, hospitals, etc.) negotiate confidential arrangements (managed-entry agreements) with pharmaceutical companies whose contents, especially the discounted prices, are kept confidential. The list prices, however, remain high (‘fake prices’). This impacts negatively on decision-making (use of artificially higher prices in external price referencing, distorting the balance in the pharmaceutical sector due to information asymmetry) and research (limiting the significance of medicine price studies). It has been argued that, despite their limitations, confidential deals allow health systems to improve access to medicines through obtaining lower prices, whereas others highlighted negative impacts on accessibility to medicines:
In this strand we specifically look for:

  • studies and policy interventions that aimed to increase the transparency of ‘real’ prices;
  • principles for developing a ‘fair price’;
  • approaches of how to improve existing pricing and reimbursement policies that require price data (e.g. external price referencing, internal reference pricing, generic price link, etc.).

Strand 3: Fix the future? Innovative policy options need to be developed, agreed upon and implemented

Description: In recent years, some medicines with very high price tags entered the markets, and further promising though likely expensive therapies are said to be in the pipelines. Policy-makers have been increasingly worried about ensuring patient access, while at the same time safeguarding the long-term financial sustainability of their health systems and maintaining incentives for industry to encourage them in their investments for new medicines. It has been demonstrated that existing pricing, reimbursement and procurement policies all have their benefits and also limitations. New ideas and solutions of how to ensure access, affordability and incentives for innovation are needed, and they will likely go beyond pricing and reimbursement policies. Has the current business model come to an end? Which are the alternatives? Which tools and avenues for the future can be offered to support policy-makers to equip them for the challenges of the future (e.g. digitalisation of the health care sector and advances in the medical sector like gene sequencing and thera-pies)? In developing the future, how to ensure that patients and citizens are involved in a meaningful and serious manner? Which roles do financial investors play, how could their interest be aligned to public health priorities?
In this strand, we would like to receive contributions in relation to:

  • innovative approaches in pricing and reimbursement policies and beyond; 
  • assessment and discussion of new funding, payment and investment models (netflix model, amortization, value-based assessment approaches, horizon scanning, personalised medicines, etc.);
  • collaborative approaches such as joint negotiations, joint procurement, information sharing, early dialogue and collaboration among the value chain.

5)    Publication of your abstract in the Journal Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice (Conference Supplement)

A selection of abstracts will be published in a Supplement of the BioMed Central Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice (JOPPP) Please indicate your consent during abstract submission for your abstract to be published in the Journal. Abstracts to be published in the Journal Supplement will be selected by the Scientific Programme Committee, though the final approval is made by the editor of the journal.

6)    Evaluation procedure

Submitted abstracts are evaluated by the members of the Scientific Programme Committee. Topics that are likely to be highly ranked for conference presentation include:

(1)    sound research methodology; 
(2)    (practical) conclusions that can be transferred to other countries and contexts
(3)    approaches to increase transparency in the field of pharmaceutical policy
(4)    reference to solutions
(5)    to strengthen the balance in the pharmaceutical sector 
(6)    an impact assessment/evaluation of a pharmaceutical pricing and/or reimbursement policy implemented resulting in increased access to affordable medicines
(7)    elements and/or an assessment of cross-country cooperation initiative (e.g. joint procurement or negotiations, sharing of information)

7)    Young Researcher Award

The best abstract submission by a researcher below the age of 35 will be recognized by the Scientific Programme Committee with the Young Researcher Award 2019. The award includes an exemption from the conference fee as well as an explicit mention in the conference programme. 

8) Guidelines for completing the online form for abstract submission