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No sustainable treatment against high drug prices

for the First time in a long time, there is a good message to the medication costs: they have risen in the mandatory health insurance in the past year, only 0.8 per cent. This is the "lowest annual percentage increase since 2010", it says in the latest drug report, the health insurance provider Helsana this week has released. In the previous year, the increase was 6.5 percent.

But that is only the turn of a breath pause and not a trend. "In the current year, expenditure will rise according to our forecasts, with a Rate of around 6 percent," says Mathias Early, head of the pharmaceutical and medical engineering at Helsana.

For the low output growth in the previous year, there is a simple explanation: 2017, Federal office of public health (BAG) the Review of drugs prices, and many funds price cuts has. Particular weight dropped that in 2017, the big cost driver came off the immunosuppressants, and cancer medications.

225 million Swiss francs savings

The first price reduction in round brought according to the BAG savings of 225 million Swiss francs. For the years 2018 and 2019, with further savings of 100 million Swiss francs are expected. According to Helsana to the expiry of patent protection of some of the original preparations is spending a further reason for the low increase in the medicines.

"Just in the case of very expensive drugs to a small increase in quantity leads to a load on the system."Mathias Early, head of the pharmaceutical and medical technology Helsana

But in the course of this year, the dampening effect of the price reductions through additional medicines is likely to be more than compensated for prescriptions again. Helsana expert Early on, a point illustrated by the example of the rheumatism by means of Revlimid: While the price of the drug fell to 20 percent, through additional sales, the expenses, the bottom line had increased by 60 percent. "Especially in the case of very expensive drugs to a small increase in quantity leads to a load on the system," says Early. Revlimid beat with a cost of 40’000 Swiss francs per Patient and year.

premium driver drugs cost

The cost of medicines in the mandatory health insurance for approximately 25 percent of the total expenditure. You are the third-largest block of Expenditure. Even more money to the funds only for hospital stays and medical treatments. Therefore, increasing medication spending is an important driver for the health insurance premiums.

Although there is for expensive products already cheaper Alternatives, they are hardly used.

What is the Helsana experts annoys especially: Although there is for expensive products such as rheumatism drug Remicade cheaper Alternatives, called Biosimilars, they are hardly used. Biosimilars are copycat products of biotechnological active ingredients, which are in effect largely identical to the Original. Since 2015 it is for Remicade biosimilar on the market. Nevertheless, the original drug is cost still the formula with the fourth-largest overall. 2018, the funds spent alone for Remicade 115 million Swiss francs. "Here, potential savings remain in the three-digit million range unused", so Early.

The low market penetration of Biosimilars explain the Helsana experts so that Doctors and pharmacies would have no incentive, on the cheap Alternatives to switch. A Problem exists in the distribution margins, which are dependent on the sale price. Therefore, Helsana for fixed margins and a reference price system, in which only the favorable agent is paid for calls.

Federal government wants to get a handle on costs

The long-term trend in the drugs expenditure is a cause for concern: for example, the pharmaceutical expenditure increased since 2010, to 46 percent. For comparison: The total cost of health care rose in this period by nearly 27 percent. Immunosuppressive drugs such as the anti-rheumatic drugs Humira, from Abbvie, as well as cancer agents are also those groups of Drugs that hit at the box office the most impact. Both groups of Drugs are responsible for about half of the increase in Costs since 2010, is responsible.

The Federal health sees a need for action. "It will be examined what other measures and legal provisions must be made to the costs to stabilize," says a spokesman. He called but no Details.

Created: 22.11.2019, 14:12 PM

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