AOK Federal Association
Dr. Carola Reimann, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the AOK Federal Association, as follows:
“The legislative initiative to combat supply bottlenecks in the supply of pharmaceuticals is necessary and overdue. Because the previous legal efforts have not proven to be effective enough. We therefore welcome the fact that our request has been taken up and that the role of the supply bottleneck advisory board at the Federal Institute for Drugs and medical products (BfArM) is to be strengthened. It is also positive that inventories of manufacturing companies are now also to be recorded, so that supply shortages can be identified at an early stage.
However, other reform proposals of the ALBVVG point in the wrong direction. It is further assumed that the cause of delivery bottlenecks lies in prices that are too low, which reduce the attractiveness of the German market. Delivery problems can be observed worldwide. The currently planned exemption of entire drug groups from discount agreements and fixed prices or the increase in price caps by up to 50 percent are not suitable for making the supply of drugs safer.
Discount agreements, on the other hand, have proven their worth in the past. They ensure the supply of medicines and at the same time offer pharmaceutical manufacturers more planning. We know from many years of experience: discount agreements protect the contributors from excessive drug prices and make an essential contribution to securing the financial performance of the statutory health insurance. Against the background of the tense financial situation, we cannot afford to weaken such an effective instrument. Strengthening discount agreements means securing potential savings!”
Background: The statutory health insurance companies spend more money on medicines every year. According to KV45 statistics, 4th quarter, in 2022 it was around 48.9 billion euros, 2.23 billion euros or 4.8 percent more than in 2021. Drug discount agreements are slowing down the increase in drug spending. All statutory health insurance companies together were able to save around 5.11 billion euros in 2021 through the discount agreements. Discount agreements thus make a decisive contribution to the high-quality supply of medicines at affordable prices. In addition, companies with the AOK discount agreements are obliged to set up a three-month reserve for discounted medicines. However, the storage requirement should also be extended to pharmaceuticals for which no discount agreements have been agreed.
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Dr. Kai Behrens
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Original content from: AOK Federal Association, transmitted by news aktuell