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Counting points

Only patients taking their prescribed drugs accordingly would get full reimbursement if a recently announced concept of the government gets green light.

The bonus-malus system, mainly used in the insurance industry, is an arrangement between a service provider and its users, which alternately reward or penalize behaviors. However, if the government’s plans are realized, Hungarians could soon wind up calculating their good and bad points in pharmacy lines, too.

“Patients who alter from the doctor’s instructions would not get full subsidy for a given medicine. In case of a pill 70% subsidized by the National Health Insurance Fund, the subsidy would only be 50%, for irregular drug takers,” Péter Cserháti, deputy state secretary responsible for healthcare issues at the National Resources Ministry announced in March. The plan is part of the government’s ambitions to save on the pharmaceuticals budget.

“One of the possible ways of providing a secure and economical medicine supply is to improve the cooperation between doctors and patients,’ the press department of the health state secretariat of the National Resources Ministry told the BBJ. However, several issues are yet to be clarified; one of them is how renitent patients can be detected.

According to a recent survey conducted by GfK Hungária, more than 60% of Hungarians above the age of 50 do not follow the prescriptions by their doctors, and the value of prescribed but not used medicines that end up in the bin is several billions of forints a year.