Horizon Scan for Medicinal Products

The Horizon Scan for Medicinal Products (Horizonscan Geneesmiddelen) lets the National Health Care Institute and other parties in healthcare provide a complete, public and objective overview of medicines expected to come onto the market. The Horizon Scan, which looks 2 years into the future, covers both intramural and extramural medicines. The information is continuously supplemented from national and international sources. This offers both hospitals and insurers a good enough picture of developments for the upcoming procurement and contract year. Doctors and patients can also see if new medicines are going to come on the market for medical treatments. VWS uses the information from the Horizon Scan to determine which medicinal products will be placed in the ‘Lock procedure for expensive medicinal products'.

A public and objective overview

The Horizon Scan for Medicinal Products provides an overview of innovative medicinal products that is integral, public and as objective as possible, covering products that are expected to be introduced to the market and allowing inter alia the following to be addressed:

  • knowledge about marketing medicinal products (innovative medicines in particular) is pooled and there is optimum access to that information;
  • patients, practitioners, hospitals, health insurance companies and government bodies are informed at an early stage about expected developments in medicinal products and what their impact may potentially be;
  • health insurance companies and hospitals can use this information to organise their procurement better and strengthen their negotiating position as a purchaser of medicinal products;
  • practitioners can better determine what these developments mean for the treatments offered;
  • the National Health Care Institute can schedule and prepare assessments of medicinal products in good time.


The scope of the Horizon Scan 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.
  • Expected list prices of new innovative medicinal products.                                  
    This refers to the expected publicly stated list prices. This is the maximum sales price from the manufacturer. The system is such that there will be further negotiations over the actual price.
  • Expected number of patients and information about the treatment.                                 
    The best possible estimate is made 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 extensions to the indications of existing innovative medicinal products.                   
    This refers to all extensions to the indications for innovative medicinal products that are already authorised for other indications.

Collecting information

Several sources are used for the Horizon Scan. Available national and international sources are scanned. These are e.g. information from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board (CBG), clinical studies, pipeline overviews or input from the many experts involved. This information is adapted and supplemented for the Dutch situation by 7 working groups containing experts in the relevant fields. These are medical specialists, pharmacists, representatives of patients and representatives of health insurers. In parallel with this, the pharmaceutical industry is asked to share information about new medicinal products and indication extensions in good time with the National Health Care Institute. A draft Horizon Scan is then drawn up based on all these sources.

Broad cooperation

The National Health Care Institute supports the creation of the Horizon Scan, letting stakeholders focus primarily on identifying and analysing developments in medicinal products in the relevant subfield. The National Health Care Institute manages the website and ensures that a ‘market scan’ is carried out at least every six months.

The Horizon Scan for Medicinal Products is created in collaboration with:

  • Federatie Medisch Specialisten (FMS, the Federation of Medical Specialists)
  • The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS)
  • Nederlandse Federatie van Universitair Medische Centra (NFU, the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centers)
  • Nederlandse Vereniging van Ziekenhuizen (NVZ, the Dutch Association of Hospitals)
  • Nederlandse Zorgautoriteit (NZa, the Dutch Healthcare Authority)
  • Patiëntenfederatie Nederland (PN, the Netherlands Patient Federation)
  • Verpleegkundigen en Verzorgenden Nederland (V&VN, the Netherlands Nurses’ Association)
  • Zelfstandige Klinieken Nederland (ZKN, Independent Clinics Netherlands)
  • Zorgverzekeraars Nederland (ZN, the Association of Dutch Healthcare Insurers)

Read more on the website Horizonscan Geneesmiddelen.