Pharmaceutical lobby influences health policy

AOK head of state: Pharma lobby influences the German health policy too much in their favor

In the opinion of the Baden-W├╝rttemberg AOK head of state Rolf Hoberg, pharmaceutical lobby associations influence the German health policy too much.

According to the AOK boss Rolf Hoberg, the pharmaceutical lobby too much determines the policy of health experts. The pharmaceutical industry has a lot more financial resources than the statutory health insurance companies. This creates a much better position for interest groups to shape the future of health policy in Germany. In this way, the lobby associations can submit proposals, which are then often adopted by politicians in favor of the pharmaceutical industry. "It co-writes the laws," the AOK head of state told dpa.

Interest groups were able to negotiate 7 billion euros
The contracted doctors, pharmaceutical industry and clinics could have negotiated around seven billion euros in their favor this year alone. According to Hoberg, the statutory health insurance companies did not receive a cent more from politics for rising administrative costs. That applies to the last and the coming year. As a result, the health insurance companies are unable to adequately implement the interests of the insured. The AOK chief told the dpa news agency: "The health insurance companies are unable to translate contributor interests into politically relevant protests." The upcoming wage increases of the 7600 employees nationwide of the largest health insurance company in Baden-W├╝rttemberg could only be mastered through savings in the relevant costs and membership growth.

The uniform 15.5 percent contribution rate for all health insurance companies has brought about 125,000 new members to the AOK in 2010, and the bottom line is an increase of around 50,000 contribution payers. So far, the easing of the switch to private health insurance decided on as part of the health care reform has not played a role. According to Hoberg, the relief at the AOK was hardly noticed. Last year the cash register had to complain about a financial loss in the tens of millions. With roughly the same surplus from last year, however, one will probably write a black zero this year. The AOK does not want to demand additional contributions from its 3.8 million insured in 2011 either. (sb)

Also read:
Healthcare reform: pharmaceutical lobby benefits again

Image: Gerd Altmann / /

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