Ministry of Health forcing cheaper drugs

The Ministry of Health has come up with proposals to slash the prices of medicines by capping them at the second lowest price available in Europe. This planned revision of the Act on Healthcare is currently undergoing interdepartmental review.

The Ministry hopes to save around EUR 50 million in costs on medicines next year by changing the system of averaging applied at present. This means that instead of limiting Slovak prices at the average of the six lowest in the EU, the Ministry of Health now wants to cap the price on the level of the second lowest price.

Another step that the Ministry hopes will help the cash-strapped health service is to make the registration of cheaper generics faster. It is even proposing to allow categorisation requests for generics before the marketing authorisation decision has even been issued, so that both processes can run in parallel.

Original pharmaceutical producers will surely not be happy about any preferential treatment for generic producers, but with the step the Ministry hopes to save another EUR 5 million by enabling an avalanche of cheap generics easier access to  the market.

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