Bio Deutschland Calls for Fair Conditions for Medication Manufacturers
In a new position paper, which was officially published to coincide with a meeting of the Joint Federal Committee on 19 May in Berlin, Bio Deutschland urged that the developments in the health system be carefully dealt with, both in the interests of the patients who need medication and of the entrepreneurs who develop and manufacture it.
While the association welcomes the latest attempts by the Federal Government to improve the availability of the best and most effective medical drugs, it points out that the suggestions in the benchmark paper published by the Federal Ministry of Health tend to obstruct the provision of innovative medications to the population. Many of the compounds now used in the treatment of severe or rare chronic disease are biopharmaceuticals. Bio Deutschland therefore urges that innovative small and medium-sized biotech companies be remunerated for supplying unlicensed medical drugs for compassionate use via alternative payment channels that do not place a burden on the statutory health insurance companies. In addition, no medical drugs for rare diseases should be included in the planned increase of the manufacturer’s discount to 16 per cent.
Among other things, Bio Deutschland is also campaigning for fair parameters in negotiation and contract models and for cost and benefit evaluation methods to follow international standards. The association also suggests that the so-called “second opinion procedure” be abolished in its current form.
Peter Heinrich, Chairman of the Board of Bio Deutschland, said: “We have the impression that the benefits of innovative medications have increasingly faded into the background in the eyes of patients and society during the last legislative periods, while the costs have been overestimated and too one-sidedly underlined.” He added that it was obvious that medical drugs have to be evaluated in different ways, as the current public discussion shows. However, as Heinrich pointed out, this is precisely why innovative companies must be given the appropriate parameters so that they can continue to invest resources in the development of innovative medications.
Robert Schupp, Chairman of Bio Deutschland’s Working Group on Health Policies, added: “New treatment options may lead to additional costs. Society and its healthcare system must prepare for this development.” He also urged that the political aim should not be to limit expenditure, but rather to be cost effective and that the instruments used by the Federal Government in the field of medical drugs must fulfil this aim. He added that some suggestions on how to achieve this aim could be found in Bio Deutschland’s new position paper.
The position paper is available in German at http://www.biodeutschland.org/positionspapiere.html.