SFEE’s response to statements by the Health Minister at the parliamentary debate on the 2019 Budget, with respect to pharmaceuticals
SFEE’s response to statements by the Health Minister at the parliamentary debate on
the 2019 Budget, with respect to pharmaceuticals
Halandri, 19 December 2018.- In response to the parliamentary debate on the 2019 Budget, SFEE would like to provide some clarifications about the picture emerging from the figures.
Specifically, the following were mentioned:
- For 2018, a hospital pharmaceutical expenditure injection of EUR 190 million.
- In the first eleven months of 2018, medicines worth EUR 205 million were prescribed to 852,000 uninsured people.
- Provision of guaranteed healthcare to uninsured people – one-third of which with zero patient co-payment for pharmaceutical care due to low income.
- Lower patient co-payment for medicines used to treat specific categories of chronic conditions (psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease).
- For oncology patients, free of charge provision of supplemental medicines related to their therapy and its side effects.
SFEE would like to clarify the following:
- The EUR 190 million injection of hospital pharmaceutical expenditure stems exclusively from the amounts paid by pharmaceutical companies in the form of clawback. The State has not contributed a single euro to this injection!
- The amount of EUR 205 million used for covering the uninsured stems exclusively from the amounts paid by pharmaceutical companies in the form of clawback. Once again, the State does not contribute a single euro for the pharmaceutical care of the uninsured. It is worth noting that the total amount paid back by the pharmaceutical industry in 2018 is expected to come to EUR 1.4 billion.
- We welcome the provision of guaranteed healthcare to the uninsured for 2019 and lower patient co-payment for special categories of chronic patients. However, there is no information on how this measure will be funded. We have not heard that the government will increase expenditure on the basis of actual needs, as well as its social policy priorities.
- There has been no indication either as to the amount involved by these benefits, which undermines transparency and predictability. The industry cannot possibly shoulder this burden too, in the form of higher clawback payments; this would have far-reaching implications, including a threat to jobs in the industry and, most importantly, a risk to patient access to their medicines.