Health insurance companies: record value for pharmaceutical expenses

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Health insurance companies: 485 euros per year for medication costs

Germany's doctors again prescribe significantly more medication to patients than in previous years. This is reported by the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), invoking a balance sheet from the Federal Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV). On average, every insured patient received prescription drugs worth 485 euros last year. In 2010, doctors in private practice in Germany prescribed medication for people with statutory health insurance for a good 34 billion euros. According to the TK health insurance company, the result is an absolute record.

Ever increasing pharmaceutical expenses The pharmaceutical expenses of the health insurance companies continue to rise. Resident specialists and general practitioners are increasingly prescribing medicinal products to legally insured patients. On average, medication worth 485 euros was prescribed for each insured person last year. For the well-being of the pharmaceutical industry, the total amount for all health insured rose to around 34 billion euros. In 2010, every patient received almost ten medication packs on prescription. In total, there were 693 million packages, as the Techniker Krankenkasse announced, based on the evaluations of the umbrella organization of statutory health insurance (GKV) in Hamburg. That means an increase of six percent compared to the same period last year and an additional expenditure of two billion euros.

Regulations in different regions It was striking that doctors in the individual federal states prescribed prescriptions in very different ways. Prescribers in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania prescribe the most expensive with a per capita amount of 599 euros (24 percent higher than the national average) per year and patient. At least the health insurance companies had to pay for medicines in Bavaria. Here the per capita amount was just 443 euros. That is around nine percent less than the national average. In addition, the values ​​of the prescribed packs varied considerably between the individual federal states. In Berlin the average value per prescription was around 60 euros, in the Westphalia-Lippe region, on the other hand, only 42 euros. In 2010, patients in the health insurance companies made additional payments for medicines totaling around 1.9 billion euros. That is just 13 percent more than in the previous year.

Background: Health insurance companies monitor development According to section 84 (5) sentence 4 of the SGBV, the umbrella organization of the GKV provides monthly, quick information on the development of expenditure on medicines at the level of the health insurance associations as standardized reports. These reports are drawn up in cooperation with the AOK Federal Association as the sponsor of the AOK Scientific Institute (WIdO) in accordance with Section 4 (3) SGB V and Section 86 SGBX. They are based on the data of the drug prescriptions transmitted by the pharmacies in accordance with § 300 SGB V, which are evaluated before the accounting check on a specified key date. (sb)

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