Reorganization of the pharmaceutical market approved

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Federal cabinet approves the reorganization of the pharmaceutical market.

(30.06.2010) The Federal Cabinet has approved the draft law on the reorganization of the pharmaceutical market (AMNOG). The German government hopes that this will result in more competition on the pharmaceutical market and more transparency for the health insured. In addition, costs in the health system should of course be saved. In future, pharmaceutical companies will have to prove the actual benefits of a new product more precisely and negotiate a price with the health insurance companies within a year at the latest.

It was a long time before the Federal Minister of Health Philipp Rösler (FDP) initiated any reform at all. Now Rösler has actually managed to pave the way for a change in the pharmaceutical market. The aim is to contain the escalating costs of medication on the pharmaceutical market. The health minister said: "With the bill, we have brought about fundamental structural changes in the pharmaceutical market and at the same time managed to strike the difficult balance between innovation and affordability."

The draft law is intended to deregulate the pharmaceutical market. Around two billion euros are to be saved in healthcare every year. Because the prices of medicines have almost exploded in Germany in recent years. For example, an investigation by the health insurance company KKH had shown that each of the 30 patented medicines in Germany are more expensive than in the other countries in Europe. This is because in other European countries prices are negotiated with the state. Only in Germany has so far been relying on "self-regulation of the market" and has therefore always faced rising costs. The fundamental problem of statutory health insurance companies is also likely to be hidden here. Many health insurance companies have been complaining about rising costs for a long time, especially in the pharmaceutical sector.

The pact focuses on negotiating drug prices. In addition, the pharmaceutical company must demonstrate the actual benefits of a new drug. Within one year, the pharmaceutical manufacturers have to negotiate with the health insurance companies about the price. If no agreement is reached, a central arbitration board should decide on the drug price with effect from the 13th month after market launch. Medicines that are not an additional benefit should be reimbursed at most as much as a comparable drug.

There should also be new rules for discount contracts for patent-free drugs with the same active ingredients (generics). A more friendly regulation should take place here. This means that as part of the "aut-idem regulation", patients may continue to receive the therapy with the usual medication if they make an advance payment beforehand. The insured could also choose medicines that are not covered by a discount contract. Nobody really knows why these new regulations took so long. The federal government should only have used examples in the European neighborhood, where the pharmaceutical market has long been regulated. Now the bill still has to pass the Bundestag. (sb)

Also read:
Health care system: Rösler presents savings plans
Healthcare costs: remodeling of the pharmaceutical market?

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  1. Malajas

    What a success!

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