The Horizon Scan also monitors line extensions for existing innovative medicinal products. This keeps patients, practitioners, hospitals, health insurance companies and government bodies informed at an early stage about developments in innovative medicines. The National Health Care Institute cooperates in this with other government bodies and sector parties. Knowledge is thereby pooled and access to information is optimised.

To get the best and most complete picture of the developments, the content of this Horizon Scan is a collaboration involving dozens of experts. These are medical specialists, pharmacists (including hospital pharmacists), representatives of health insurance companies and representatives of patients. These experts staff eight working groups.

The Horizon Scan focuses on intramural and extramural drugs, looking two years ahead. This means that there is also a good enough picture of developments for the upcoming procurement/contract year.

Final responsibility of the Horizon Scan lies with the National Health Care Institute.


The Horizon Scan targets several objectives:

  • knowledge about marketing medicinal products (innovative medicines in particular) is pooled and access to that information is optimised;
  • patients, practitioners, hospitals, health insurance companies and government bodies are informed at an early stage about the expected developments in innovative medicinal products and what their impact may potentially be;
  • health insurance companies and hospitals can better organise their purchasing using this information;
  • practitioners can better determine what these developments mean for the treatments offered;
  • hospitals and practitioners can make clear agreements about the use of these medicines and promptly address the organisation of care and its financing;
  • hospitals and/or health insurance companies are helped to strengthen their negotiating position as purchasers of medicines;
  • practitioners, hospitals and health insurance companies can anticipate the patents expiring and start using cheaper alternatives (biosimilars and generics) at an earlier stage;
  • hospitals and/or health insurance companies can determine which medicinal products are subject to individual financial arrangements (either locally or nationwide);
  • the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport can determine which medicinal products a centralised financial arrangement is used for and/or which are placed in the lock procedure;
  • the National Health Care Institute can schedule and prepare assessments of medicinal products in good time.

The Horizon Scan’s scope is as follows:

Expected new innovative medicinal products and the associated indications. This covers all medicinal products coming onto the market under a patent that have a significant financial impact, or that have consequences for medicinal products with a significant financial impact. New forms of administration and vaccines are in principle out of scope but may be included if an impact is expected that is deemed to be relevant for the purposes mentioned above.

Expected list prices of new innovative medicinal products. This should be taken to mean the expected publicly stated list price. This is the maximum sales price from the manufacturer. The system is such that there will be further negotiations over the actual price.

Expected patient volumes and information about the treatment. This is taken to mean the best possible estimate of the volumes for the Dutch situation. To that end, it is important to determine the expected place in the treatments offered, including the associated patient volumes and the expected distribution of these volumes across possible substitute products.

Expected line extensions of existing innovative medicinal products. This is taken to include line extensions for innovative medicinal products that are already authorised for other indications.