Meeting of the Working Group on Health Policy
On 23 February 2010, BIO Deutschland issued a position paper, “Health Policy Parameters in Germany”, as a press release to coincide with the appointment of the Governmental Commission that will prepare the next health reforms. The following day, the members of BIO Deutschland’s Working Group on Health Policy met in Berlin to discuss the next steps in the communication of these positions, the current discussions on cost-reducing measures in the medication sector, and current developments on the European level.
During the meeting, there was extensive discussion on the calls for one-sided savings on the part of medication manufacturers, which had arisen during the public debates of the previous weeks on increasing the statutory health insurance contributions. In the opinion of the meeting participants, there is a lack of awareness that innovative medication is cost-intensive because of the research that it requires. Manufacturers must be able to recoup these costs in their pricing systems, as there would otherwise be no incentive to invest in research and development. In addition, the benefits of innovative medication to patients should not fade into the background in the current discussions.
The working group’s experts also discussed the EU pharma package, which aims to prevent the infiltration of fake medication into the legal chain of distribution and to strengthen and streamline the pharmacovigilance system, as well as to inform the general public about medication. The next steps in this area will be at the EU level (vote by the European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and resolution by the Council) and will be followed by the members of the working group.
Members of BIO Deutschland are welcome to request a copy of the minutes of the meeting from the association’s office. The next meeting of the working group will be held in Munich on 5 July 2010.