Health insurance companies terminate central vaccine supply contract
In Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, the health insurance companies apparently want to terminate the contract for the central delivery of flu vaccine with the pharmaceutical manufacturer Novartis. According to reports from the broadcaster "NDR 1 Welle Nord", the pharmaceutical company cannot keep up with the delivery of the required vaccine doses.
Actually, the health insurance companies wanted to significantly reduce their costs by tendering the central flu vaccine supply. But now the supply of vaccines against influenza could end up being more expensive than before. Because the pharmaceutical company Novartis, which won the tender, apparently cannot deliver the required amount of vaccine. Vaccines are in short supply, which is why the market for flu vaccines in Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg should be released again from today. "All legal and procurement law preparations are in progress to be able to exit the contract with the pharmaceutical manufacturer Novartis", reports "NDR 1 Welle Nord".
Flu vaccine in short supply? According to information from the radio station, there is a significantly higher need for the flu vaccine in Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg than the pharmaceutical manufacturer Novartis has been able to serve so far. Not all patients who want to have a flu shot at the beginning of autumn can receive care. Therefore, the health insurance companies are planning to end the central delivery again and to release the market for vaccines from other manufacturers. The doctors could therefore use other vaccines and would receive a corresponding reimbursement from the health insurance companies. However, flu vaccines are generally in short supply at the moment. The other pharmaceutical manufacturers only produced smaller amounts of the vaccine doses after Novartis won the tender for the central delivery of the flu vaccine. The supply of flu vaccines is currently very critical. It is also made difficult by the fact that Bavaria is already trying to get around 1.9 million vaccine doses on the market, according to the "NDR".
Difficult to estimate the required number of vaccine doses Determining the correct order quantity for vaccine doses against influenza is extremely difficult, not least because the seasonal course of the influenza also has a significant influence here. It remains difficult to estimate how many people are actually asking for a flu shot. This had also been shown in 2009, when millions of vaccination doses were quickly ordered in the course of the swine flu, of which only a fraction was used. Now the situation is exactly the opposite. The demand simply exceeds the available vaccine doses. Although the doctors could switch to the still available vaccine "Optaflu", this was rejected by many patients on suspicion of a carcinogenic effect, reports the "NDR".
Tendering of central vaccine delivery without hoped for success The lack of availability of flu vaccines will probably drive health insurance costs significantly higher. Currently, behind the scenes, attempts are being made to organize a sufficient amount of flu vaccine despite the delivery problems, according to the "NDR". However, the vaccine doses will certainly be much more expensive than in the offer with which Novartis had won the tender for the central delivery of the flu agents. The main goal of the tender and central order of the flu vaccine - namely the cost reduction - failed spectacularly, the conclusion of the "NDR". (fp)
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