Health care costs: restructuring of the pharmaceutical market?

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Health costs: restructuring of the German pharmaceutical market? According to reports from various media, around two billion euros a year will be saved in the healthcare system through changes in the medication sector.

An important measure is said to be cheaper drug prices. The drug manufacturers should negotiate with the health insurance companies. If no agreement can be reached between the two, the Ministry of Health is said to want to set maximum prices. Furthermore, the manufacturers should have to submit a benefit assessment when approving a preparation, which should also be financed by themselves. If this is fulfilled by the manufacturers, the funds are said not to be assessed by the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). The IQWiG creates cost-benefit assessments of medical services on which the health insurance companies are based. The head of the institute, Peter Sawicki, is only in office until August because his contract has not been extended. According to media reports, an industry-critical stance that he initiated has caused the non-extension.

Relevant media continue to report plans by the Federal Ministry of Health to introduce compulsory discounts and to stop the budget for patented drugs for the time being. According to official statements from the ministry, some proposals for savings in the pharmaceutical sector will soon be presented to the public.

In a report by the ARD magazine “plusminus” from January 2, 2010, health economist Professor Gerd Glaeske pointed out that the German health system could be greatly relieved by state regulation of the prices of patented drugs. There, reference was made to a study by the health insurance company KKH, according to which each of the 30 patented drugs is more expensive in Germany than in other European countries. In most of these countries, the prices for the said funds are to be negotiated between the manufacturers and state bodies. (Thorsten Fischer, naturopath osteopathy, 03/06/2010)

Further information:

Plus minus report

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