A Survey of Psychiatrists and Interviews with Payers in the EU5

Despite being a leading preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in Europe, alcohol addiction is tremendously underdiagnosed and undertreated. Self-help/support programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous remain the primary treatment approach for alcoholics, in large part because available drug treatments are not highly effective in maintaining abstinence. Lundbeck’s new dual-acting opioid modulator Selincro (nalmefene)—the first novel drug treatment to reach the alcohol addiction market in decades—could prompt a major shift in the alcohol addiction treatment paradigm by allowing physicians and patients to aim for a reduction in alcohol consumption as a treatment goal rather than complete abstinence. Market access barriers and physician and payer reluctance to accept this new treatment paradigm, however, have proven restrictive to Selincro’s market penetration across the EU5 to date.

Questions Answered in This Report:

  • Gain physician and payer perspectives on current and evolving prescribing trends. How do prescribing patterns for alcohol addiction vary across the EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom)? How widely have physicians adopted Lundbeck’s Selincro (nalmefene) into their treatment algorithms? What have been the main constraints to Selincro’s uptake?

  • Understand the mechanisms by which alcohol addiction therapies are reimbursed in the EU5. The newer Selincro is considerably more expensive than alternative therapies, which have been on the market for many years and are all generically available. How does reimbursement of alcohol addiction therapies vary among countries? To what extent is the cost of Selincro preventing access to this drug in increasingly price-sensitive European markets? What other market access hurdles does Selincro face?

  • Explore physician attitudes toward the clinical attributes of available alcohol addiction medications. Which clinical attributes are the most persuasive in influencing physician prescribing decisions for alcohol addiction therapies? How do physicians and payers view Selincro as a therapeutic option for alcohol addiction? To what extent does Selincro’s clinical profile distinguish it from other alcohol addiction medications, given that it aims to reduce alcohol consumption rather than maintain abstinence?


The Decision Resources' European Physician & Payer Forum report, “Positioning of Current and Emerging Agents for Alcohol Addiction in the EU5” explores the many international, national, and local market access factors that can influence the utilization of alcohol addiction therapies, particularly in response to increasingly challenging health technology assessments and more complex pricing and reimbursement negotiations. This report draws on insights from 253 surveyed psychiatrists in the EU5 and from interviews with 15 European payers, all of whom have influence at a national or regional level.

Author(s): Tricia Daley
Vivian Georgiou, M.Sc.