Named Patient Sales (NPS) / Early Access Program or Expanded Access Program (EAP)

Early Access Programs / Named Patients Sales / Expanded Access Programs are country-specific regulatory tools that allow patients with unmet medical needs  to have access to drugs in clinical development before their official launches, providing that it fulfills specific criteria.

EAP or NPS should not be confused with compassionate use, where a drug is supplied by the company for patients as a follow-up after a clinical trial or for pure humanitarian reasons. In these cases, treatments are free of charge for the patient in contrast to Named Patient Sales projects.

Recent success stories have raised the profiles of EAP, yet many companies remain unaware of the significant advantages and possibilities offered by European EAP programs especially that it is possible to charge for EAP drugs in several European countries.

In addition, even in your company, some departments assume  wrongly that an EAP will be too risky, too complicated or too costly to consider:

♦ Pharmacovigilance teams sometimes fear potential safety issues that could be reported during an EAP, especially if the drug is misused by a physician having requested the agent under a named-patient EAP (whereby there is no protocol).

♦ From a regulatory point of view, potential adverse safety results could be considered to endanger the marketing approval of the drug. In addition, regulatory teams in companies sometimes might have minimal knowledge and/or experience of EAPs and the country-specific nature of the programs.

♦ EAPs are also assumed to require a significant administrative workload in terms of paperwork, etc. Marketing and commercial teams often do not see how they could benefit from an EAP due to the perception that this is purely a regulatory tool. This is compounded by the fact that promotion of EAPs is prohibited. Last but not least, very few people even in your company are aware that it is possible to charge for EAP! In this case, the key issue is to set the right price, which shall be close to the price at launch.

♦ Unlike standard clinical trials, the number of patients and sites involved in EAPs are unpredictable (particularly in named-patient EAPs), which makes assessment of adequate drug production and supply difficult.

♦ Your company may have no real presence in Europe, will not yet have developed any distribution channels. EAPs must be managed on a country-by-country basis, which might be challenging with limited knowledge of the European markets.

In this context, is an EAP worth considering? The answer is definitely YES.

CarthaGenetics® will provide you with clear and detailed answers to all these legitimate concerns from the different units of  your company. 

CarthaGenetics® is your partner of choice to start your successful EAP and prelaunch in Europe. CarthaGenetics® offers an efficient and cost-effective approach to managing global EAP and is aware of local variability within the programs and works within the boundaries of local regulations.

Please contact us at: eap@carthagenetics.com

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