Drug makers are criticizing the ministry's proposal to keep a two-month supply

Drug makers are criticizing the ministry's proposal to keep a two-month supply

Drug manufacturers criticize the Ministry's proposal to hold two-monthly zásobu

Medicines. Illustrative photo.

Prague – Drug manufacturers are criticizing the Ministry of Health's proposal to keep a two-month supply of prescription drugs. According to them, it will not solve the outages, on the contrary, it can make them worse. Due to the higher costs of manufacturers, there is also a risk of an increase in drug prices or the termination of supplies to the Czech Republic. This was said at a press conference by the directors of the Czech Association of Pharmaceutical Companies (ČAFF) Filip Vrubel and the Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Industry (AIFP) David Kolář. ČTK is investigating the ministry's statement.

Advertisement'; }

“If the proposed solution should bring about any improvement, it should be very precisely focused on those groups of drugs in which outages repeatedly occur,” said Kolář. According to him, there are also medicines where it is not possible to fulfill this obligation, for example seasonal vaccines, radiopharmaceuticals or individually prepared preparations.

According to him, the draft law envisages that if the State Institute for Medicines Control evaluates a medicine as not being available in the normal distribution chain, the manufacturer will gradually release its stock for two months. At the same time, pharmacies could not order more of such drugs than their usual consumption.

According to Vrubel, manufacturers will have to build or rent new warehouses. “It is estimated that it will cost hundreds of millions of crowns in addition. In the value of the goods that are in the warehouses and in the value of the services of those warehouses,” he said. As an example, he cited a solution from Finland, where the state pays to keep stocks as a service for distributors who deliver medicines to pharmacies on an ongoing basis, and their costs are thus lower than if the manufacturers have the same obligation.

According to Vrubel, drug manufacturers will have to reflect their increased costs into prices. However, this is not possible for prescription drugs that are paid for by health insurance companies, because the prices are regulated and a large part of the drugs are currently sold at the maximum set price. He sees the biggest problem with the cheapest drugs under 150 crowns per pack, where the manufacturer has a low margin. Approximately 1,000 of the 6,500 prescription drugs sold in the Czech Republic have this price. Around 60 percent of them are at the maximum price.

According to Vrubel, pharmaceutical companies, like other areas, are currently struggling with rising prices for energy and some materials. “Production costs are increasing by hundreds of percent, but you are not able to reflect them in the price,” he said.

According to Friday's statement by the Minister of Health Vlastimil Válk (TOP 09), the change in the law should apply from next year at the latest. However, according to the manufacturers, this is not realistic, as production is planned roughly a year in advance. Manufacturers could be fined up to 20 million crowns for non-compliance. Vrubel therefore assumes that they will more often report production interruptions if they are unable to predict deliveries.

According to company representatives, the new legislation would not help the current situation, when the consumption of antibiotics increased by more than half in January compared to the previous year. In the past weeks, due to the high level of morbidity, medicines for fever or syrups for children, which are sold over the counter and would not be covered by the new legislation, were also missing, for example.