Pro-active approach to introducing medical innovations needed — BVMed innovation forum

15 Sept 2006

Berlin, Germany. How we tackle medical innovations is one of the most important structural themes of the healthcare market. Health insurance funds, doctors and companies must work closer together, adopting a more “pro-active” approach, in order to provide patients with “real” innovations more quickly. This was the view of Rolf Stuppardt, chairman of the board of the German Guilds’ Health Insurance Fund (IKK), expressed before 180 delegates at the BVMed innovation forum, entitled “Tackling innovation within the healthcare economy” on 6 September 2006 in Berlin. The sickness funds must “become a vehicle for medical advances”, Stuppardt said.

BVMed Director General Joachim M. Schmitt demanded that the combined aim of health insurance funds and companies should be to introduce innovations that offer medical advancement and are economically beneficial more speedily into the system. “In this way we are keeping the door open for cooperation and innovation management — together with the partners in the healthcare market,” he said.

Bernd Beyrle from the Technicians’ Health Insurance Fund (TK) pointed to the fact that companies in the medical devices sector must prove the additional benefit of these innovations.

Health economist Professor Dr. Jürgen Wasem from the University of Essen said that not only the results of clinical studies should be of prime importance, but also “cost studies”. On a social level, there also needed to be a discussion about the readiness to pay for medtech innovations, he added. Cost evaluations could make an important contribution to the debate, Professor Wasem said.

Professor Dr. Norbert Roeder from the University Hospital of Münster also appealed for the financing of innovations to be propelled to the forefront. He added that it was important to recognize that innovations did not always simply mean “more expense”, but that if cases were viewed as a whole, costs could actually be saved, for example due to a reduction in hospital stays.

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