Highlights from IPPC 2017

Mr. Bruno Santoni, Executive Director, PPTA Europe, opened the well-attended IPPC 2017 welcoming the more than 300 attendees to Prague. PPTA thanks its sponsors who help make the IPPC possible. Download the IPPC app for a complete list of sessions and many of the presentations.

Mr. Jan M. Bult asked for a minute of silence in honor of Corey Dubin and John Walsh, two pioneering members of the rare disease patient community who passed away recently. Mr. Dubin and Mr. Walsh were tireless patient advocates and respected by many.

The Deputy Minister for Health Care in the Czech Republic, Professor Roman Prymula, MD, PhD, welcomed the Congress to Prague and gave the keynote address. He provided an overview of the Czech health care system.

Mr. David Bell, Chairman of the PPTA Global Board of Directors, provided the Chairman’s message. He noted that PPTA’s most important role is to educate patients, legislators, regulators, and the general public to ensure access to care for all who need it. He called for the industry to battle back against misperceptions and misinformation by speaking up about the industry and the safety of Source plasma and the safety and efficacy of plasma protein therapies.

Session one was a panel of speakers from the Czech Republic who gave presentations on an EU perspective of the plasma protein therapeutics industry and an overview of the blood transfusion service in the Czech Republic.

The 2017 Hilfenhaus Award was presented to Professor Henrietta Farkas, MD, Ph.D., DSc, of the Hungarian Angioedema Center at Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary. Over her career, Professor Farkas has been dedicated to treating those suffering from Hereditary Angioedema and working to improve treatments and patients’ quality of life.

Session two featured three panelists who examined various aspects of primary immunodeficiency disease (PID) care. Professor Volker Wahn presented on efforts to improve awareness of PID with German physicians through the FIND-ID project and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. Professor Esther de Vries talked about using the entire health care chain to optimize PID care including the use of data for building awareness and better diagnoses. Professor Martin van Hagen provided a comprehensive overview of PID care in Southeast Asia including advances in genetic testing. He also discussed the increasing role of patient groups in Asia in helping to improve awareness of PID.

Session three was a panel and discussion about Anti-D and the eradication of newborn Hemolytic disease. The speakers represented members of industry and non-profit/academia who discussed challenges in Anti-D production as well as challenges to reaching patients in the developing world. The speakers also addressed ways to ensure access to care for patients around the world.

Day one of the IPPC finished with a patient-focused panel that addressed access to plasma protein therapies by examining specific geographic areas such as Central Europe, France, and Romania. Each of the speakers addressed the challenges and opportunities with working toward ensuring access to care and appropriate plasma protein therapies.

Day two of IPPC began with the Sponsors Session where Merck talked about supply chain management for plasma and plasma protein therapies and the related challenges. The presentation also covered Merck’s solutions for supply chain risk management to help meet patients’ needs.

Session six provided an in-depth look at developments in the plasma protein therapeutics industry globally. An analysis of plasma products in India was also provided, noting the challenges as well as recent advances and opportunities in moving forward. The panel concluded with a presentation on how, through innovation, a small business that is locally focused can grow to one that has a global impact.

Session seven covered some regulatory aspects of the plasma protein therapeutics industry. First was a presentation on new trends in inspections. Of note is an initiative to use risk-based inspection planning that, through the use of control measures in inspection planning, could reduce the inspection burden while maintaining standards. Finally, there were presentations on the possible expansion of the National Donor Deferral Registry (NDDR) and the Cross Donation Check System (CDCS) to Europe. The panel concluded with an in-depth discussion of the EU General Data Protection Regulation and national regulations on personal data and their impact on the expansion of the NDDR and CDCS.

The final session of IPPC focused on health technology assessments (HTA) and their use to support patient access to therapies. Presentations included a look at how to incorporate patient perspectives into HTAs to help provide additional context to the assessments. Also discussed were the issues of the value of therapies and harmonization of HTAs across Europe.

Bruno Santoni, Executive Director PPTA Europe, closed IPPC 2017, thanking the sponsors, the speakers, and the attendees. He encouraged all to attend IPPC 2018 in Budapest, Hungary. He also announced that the 2019 IPPC will be held in Stockholm!!!