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New information on drug subsidy system reform leaked

The government is to initiate talks on state subsidies on drugs with professional organizations this week. The idea of the introducing regulatory pricing and a possible abolishment of extra burdens on pharmaceutical producers will be both discussed, local daily Magyar Nemzet wrote on Monday. As a result, the government may decide to reduce the drug budget by less than the originally planned HUF 120 billion in the next two years.

The National Economy Ministry and the secretary of state for heath care and the National Health Insurance Fund will discuss two proposals, the paper wrote. One is the overhaul of the current drug price subsidy system with possible changes in insurance conditions. Among the government’s plans is the reduction of the regulated price, which would not affect retail prices, but would decrease the state subsidy. Should this measure come into effect as of 1 July, the government would save HUF 87 billion.

According to the second proposal, no regulatory price would be introduced. However, tax paid by drug markers on the sale of subsidized medicine would be increased to 18% from 12%. Contracts for subsidy volumes would be renegotiated, contribution brackets would be modified and a result-based subsidy system would be introduced.  Reforms of the current subsidy system would start as of this July.

The government would also review the therapeutic order at a number of disease groups and possibly reduce the subsidy in groups where it is the highest, Magyar Nemzet wrote.

As it previously announced, the government plans a HUF 83 billion cut in drug spending for 2012 and HUF 37 billion for 2013, without passing costs on consumers.