Note to the Directors General

Dear Colleagues,

Please find below, for your information, the main points of the announcements made by the Minister of Health, Mr Panagiotis Kouroumblis, in today’s press conference on pharmaceutical policy, addressed to accredited journalists. Also, please find attached the Press Release issued by SFEE following the Minister’s announcements.

 

PRICING – REIMBURSEMENT

  • Long-standing errors will be corrected, and prices will be restored (upwards or downwards) to the average of the three lowest prices in the EU, for all the currently mispriced medicinal products.
  • Re- pricing will take place once a year.
  • A Positive List will be released next week, including 30-35 new innovative medicines, the effectiveness of which will be monitored, and assessment criteria will be established promptly, based also on input which will be requested from three European countries applying this measure (HTA).
  • By mid-June, the Minister will make further announcements regarding the pricing policy, once negotiations with the pharma industry are completed.
  • Immediate activation of the Negotiation Committee, the composition of which will be announced within the next week.
  • Patient co-payment rates will be reduced, prioritizing the economically weaker groups

 

REBATE

  • The rebate framework is changed: the existing 8 rebates are replaced by a scaled volume rebate, effective retroactively from 1 January 2015. The additional savings from this measure are estimated at €139 million. Furthermore, another €10 million is expected to be saved through the immediate activation of the Negotiation Committee, which will promptly carry out assessment, and through the use of HTA. With the additional savings of €10 million that according to the Minister are expected from new treatments, the total savings from the above measures would come to €160 million.
  • However, the Minister indicated that negotiations with pharmaceutical companies will be stepped up, in particular on certain categories of preparations (Hepatitis C, rheumatic diseases) for which a measure based on closed budget is being considered additionally.

 

PRESCRIPTION CAP

  • The Health Minister announced that the new EOPYY prescription cap will soon be published in the Government Gazette.
  • EOPPY’s Director responsible for pharmaceuticals, Ms Panagiota Litsa, said that legislation does not change, only some modifications are made in certain categories where expenditure overruns had been identified.
  • While the prescribing physician will be controlled and monitored, for the patient nothing will change. Controlling expenditure is crucial for EOPYY, which is already burdened with arrears of €600 million.

 

VAT

  • Mr Kouroumblis said that the increase of VAT on medicines allegedly required by Greece’s creditors crosses the government’s red line.
  • He appeared open to the idea of excluding vaccines from EOPYY’s pharmaceutical budget.
  • Regarding the charge of €1 per prescription imposed on the insured, he said that the government’s decision would be announced by the end of this month.

 

OFFSETTING

  • Two amendments are expected very soon, regarding the settlement of arrears to all providers and the offsetting of clawbacks and rebates against arrears, which will significantly ease market liquidity problems.

 

PRODUCTIVITY

  • The Minister invited multinationals to relocate the production of some of their products to Greece.

 

CONFERENCES

  • Action will be taken to address the issue of conferences and associated unethical practices

 

SFEE’s Press Release