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Pharma puts pressure on the federal government for prices – the economy



How expensive can drugs be? The pharmaceutical industry is under increasing pressure to justify the cost of over CHF 100,000 in the treatment of cancer.

Drug prices determined it Federal Public Health Office (BAG). Wednesday's SRF broadcast "Rundschau" uses an example to show how conversations are taking place. According to documents released by BAG under public law, it has been achieved Roche much higher drug price than originally requested by the Federal Office.

According to the federal government, Perjeta, a cancer drug that entered the market in 2013, would cost 1850 francs. Roche set the price at 3450 francs. "Rundschau" claimed that BAG was forced to fix the price of Roche cancer medicine. Speaking to the speaker, Thomas Christen said the industry was under pressure from BAG. The Federal Office has 60 cases in court because there is no price agreement.

However, in the case of Perj, BAG opposes the allegation. "The fact is that prices for Perry are successful," says Christen. Thus, the combination therapy is cheaper than the actually paid prices abroad.

The Federal Council is getting out

The Public Eye uses the program as an opportunity to reaffirm its claim that the Confederation should receive a compulsory license from Perjeta. In a compulsory license, a pharmaceutical company is forced to receive one of its active ingredients, which a third party produces for compensation, in order to reduce the price and thus ensure the supply of the population.

SP National Advisor Angelo Barrile submitted a similar bill in June. The Federal Council does not want to know about it. "Reducing health care costs through compulsory licenses for new, expensive drugs, within the meaning of the current patent and drug law is the opinion of the Federal Council," he said in his statement. Thus, even a compulsory license holder for self-employed drug approval "collects all clinical data independently and submits it to a regulatory body that takes several years and is expensive".

The Federal Government should keep low prices through the threat

Public Eye wants to rebut this argument with the report of Professor Valérie Junod of the University of Geneva. Thus, the holder of a compulsory license may request the necessary data for obtaining a license from Roche if the patent court found a "public interest" in the compulsory license. Otherwise, Roche would be in breach of antitrust law because it uses a dominant position.

Drug experts believe that it is illusory for the government, through a compulsory license, to run the risk of being responsible for the production of medicines. According to Public Eye, the campaign is therefore mainly concerned that the federal council should endanger the compulsory license to limit the price requirements of the pharmaceutical industry.

(Editors Tamedia)

Created: 30.01.2019, 20:28 clock


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