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Value added medicines (VAMs) are medicines based on known molecules that address healthcare needs and deliver relevant improvements for patients and healthcare professionals, according to Medicines for Ireland (MFI). The importance of using VAMs to address unmet medical needs in a timely and cost-effective manner has been highlighted during the Covid 19 pandemic, said the organisation. 

MFI has published a new report focused on the benefits of using VAMs in an EU context. Value Added Medicines: Advancing Medicine Repurposing in the EU builds on the 2021 published report, Discussion Document on the Contribution of Value Added Medicines (VAMs) in Ireland. It has been produced in conjunction with MFI’s sister organisation, Medicines for Europe. 

The 2022 report stresses that in order to make medicine repurposing a success on an EU level, we need to employ all resources at hand to connect different actors. One such connection which can uniquely be addressed by the EU is to assist academia and non-commercial stakeholders in conducting research, as well as facilitating their partnering with the industry in making repurposed medicines available to patients. 

The early involvement of industry in repurposing projects opens a range of opportunities, such as new indications, different/ adjusted delivery forms, changing dosage, and combining different therapies to meet the needs of the patient community and to bring to market new treatment options in an accessible and affordable way. 

For more repurposing to come to fruition, we need to adopt the EU pharmaceutical ecosystem, starting with recognising the need for a tailored development approach for VAMs, including repurposed medicines, said MFI. VAMs should be acknowledged as a separate group of medicines in EU legislation, it added. 

“Ireland can learn a lot from our EU peers. The industry needs to continually innovate, meanwhile, the State and regulators still have an important role to play,” said Mr Padraic O’Brien, Chairperson of MFI. “We need a system that rewards innovation with appropriate incentives, whilst recognising the potential long-term value and savings that VAMs can bring to the State.” 

Read the report at uploads/2022/05/Value-Added- Medicines-Advancing-Medicines- Repurposing-in-the-EU-MFE-MFI-report-.pdf.