Pharmacists take their customers out

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Pharmacists do not pass on discounts to customers

Pharmacies do not pass on discounts on medication to their customers, as provided for in the drug saving package (AMNOG). The health insurance companies now want to take action against this.

Complicated health care system The German health care system repeatedly gives rise to disputes between doctors, health insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry or clinics. Laws are often interpreted differently by the parties involved. The drug saving package, which came into force in 2011, is currently causing such disputes. This law, which was passed by the black-yellow coalition, was intended to break the price monopoly of the pharmaceutical industry. In the past, manufacturers were able to arbitrarily set the price for a new drug, but it is now being determined in negotiations with health insurance companies depending on the actual benefits. The health insurance companies receive a discount if the effectiveness is not or only slightly better compared to an older product.

Long-term dispute between pharmacists and health insurance companies The dispute between pharmacists and statutory health insurance companies (GKV) has been going on since the introduction of the new law. Even then, the SHI warned patients against having overpriced medication, the pharmacists accused the SHI of misinformation and disinformation. The pharmaceutical industry and especially the pharmacists are now accused of interpreting the law in their sense, which leads to higher costs for health insurers and insured persons. Actually, however, the legislature stipulated that the discount price should be the starting point for the trade surcharges for the pharmaceutical wholesale trade as well as for pharmacies and for the additional payments made by patients.

Patients remain seated at additional costs An information letter from the pharmacy service company ABDATA, which is available to the Frankfurter Rundschau, now shows that, according to the will of the pharmacists, the relevant database containing the price information for the medication is changed so that the (higher) original price is generally stored and not the discount price. The database should even be changed accordingly if a pharmaceutical company reports the discounted price. As a result, insured persons have to pay more for a drug. An example is to clarify the change: The additional payment is ten percent of the drug price, but a maximum of ten euros. If there is a discount of 40 euros for a € 100 preparation, the insured would have to pay € 6 (ten percent of € 60). However, the new rule will make it ten euros in the future. It is also becoming more expensive for health insurance companies, since the trade surcharges for pharmacies are also calculated as a percentage. The pharmacies achieve more profit. The Central Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds criticizes: “The will of the legislature is clearly not being implemented. This is where data is manipulated. ”The coalition is asked to clarify the law, but has so far refused to do so. Until something changes, the cash registers want to reduce the excessive bills of pharmacists. Unfortunately, patients do not have this option, they have to make the required additional payments if they want to get a drug from the pharmacy. You will probably have to bear the additional costs yourself. (sb)

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