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Tough times for Hungarian pharmaceutical companies? – The implementation of the new system

Tough times for Hungarian pharmaceutical companies? – The implementation of the new system of high-cost medicines reimbursement

Publish date: 2013-02-07

On 31st January 2013, the decree concerning the new system of expensive biological medicines reimbursement was published. The regulation is a milder version of controversial plans of Hungarian government to limit the end-of-life treatment of cancer patients.The State Secretariat for Healthcare (EMMI) explains in a press release that the changes are to be introduced in the field of oncological usage of modern, targeted biological drugs. Additionally, diagnostic tests will be allowed to be performed merely in specific, larger centres (what was supported by the investments amounting to $ 46.2 million) as well as therapeutic possibilities are to be enhanced in several sectors (e.g. in haematology or rheumatology).

Tags: pharma , hungary

All the changes are connected with very low drug reimbursement budget for 2013 and few opportunities for savings in the generics sector. Apart from these, the centralised hospital procurement system brings much less savings than it was envisaged. The paramount facet of the new, performance-based regulations is the fact that reimbursement of a medicine will be proportional to its therapeutic effect. In practice, it means that the producers of drugs will be forced to pay for the first three cycles of treatment and only if this therapy turns out to be effective, National Health Insurance Fund will cover the costs of it.

The further repercussion of the new system is the augmented severity in diagnostic testing. Due to the necessity of the funding of the initial period of treatment by companies, the decisions on which patient can receive the drug will require much greater scientific rigour. This explains the subsidising of the diagnostic centres, in which these assessments will be performed.

The new decree deteriorates the situation of innovative pharmaceutical and biotech companies in Hungary since it sets additional financial burdens on them.  The regulatory system of Hungarian pharmaceutical enterprises is so far not favourable, since the companies have to pay 20% levy on the sum paid in the medicines reimbursement as well as payments are needed for the registration of pharmaceutical representatives. If the new system will be introduced in the current form, the situation will become even worse.

 On the basis of:

Jakub Chrustowicz


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