Expensive medicines are a burden on health insurance companies.
(10.06.2010) Expensive special medicines cause high costs for the health insurance companies. According to the current "Barmer Report", many drugs had little or no additional benefit. The Barmer GEK presented the new drug reports 2010. Among other things, reports that the sometimes very expensive medicines place an excessive strain on the budgets of health insurance companies, although numerous newly introduced medicines do not offer any additional benefit to patients. The Barmer GEK puts the percentage of new preparations at 40 percent without any additional benefit. The drugs are mainly special drugs for cancer, rheumatism and multiple sclerosis. When the report was presented, health researcher Gerd Glaesk demanded that the new patent-protected medication should initially only be given a limited health insurance license and then tested again later for the actual benefits. So you want to contain unnecessary drugs without additional benefits and thus the escalating costs.
For example, cancer drugs cause extremely high costs. The cost of drug cancer therapy costs around 60,000 euros per year, in some cases even up to 100,000 euros. These drugs would make up around a fifth of the total pharmaceutical expenditure of the health insurance companies. The budgets of the health insurance companies would therefore be heavily burdened, partly with medicines, the additional benefits of which have not yet been proven. The growth rates of the twenty most expensive medicines at Barmer last year ranged between a whopping 12 and 25 percent, with an average increase across the entire range of 6 percent.
Federal Minister of Health Philipp Rösler is planning a so-called "pharmaceutical savings package" to stop the steadily rising drug prices. For example, discounts and frozen drug prices are to be introduced. In addition, Rösler wants to force the pharmaceutical industry to negotiate with the insurance companies for new medicines. If no agreement could be found within a year, an arbitration committee should determine the price. Rösler wants to save 2 billion euros in the long term through this measure.
Bamer Vice President Rolf Schlenker welcomed the Minister of Health's plans. Schlenker asked: "Why do pharmaceutical companies in the UK charge 1800 euros for the cancer drug Glivec, but 2800 euros for us?" Schlenker also called for an arbitration commission based on pharmaceutical prices in other European countries. Other sensible measures to reduce costs include a "price moratorium for hospitals" and a "moderate" reduction in overall medical remuneration. (sb)
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