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The first cost containment package of the FDHA takes a one-sided approach that focuses on cost and does not include any consideration of developments in the healthcare system resulting from medical advances.

Cost containment package 1, which the FDHA has submitted to the consultation process, does not contain any further detail to explain why there is supposed to be urgent need for action that takes a cost-focused approach now of all times, when we are witnessing a great many innovations which in some cases are significant.

A growth of health expenditure in this country can be seen rather in relation to the growth of GDP, which is entirely in line with the growth in other relatively prosperous OECD countries and lagging behind that in France, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands.

In line with many other actors in the healthcare sector, therefore, Interpharma takes the view that the sense of urgency to deal with what is seen as a pressing problem in Switzerland’s healthcare system stems less from the growth of costs per se and more from the inequality funding between outpatient and inpatient care.

As far as the proposal is concerned, Interpharma supports three measures in principle, but calls for corrections towards quality orientation. The proposed experimental article makes sense, but the scope for pilot projects must be kept open and the target group extended to industry and other actors. It would also be particularly important to implement projects that increase the quality and efficiency of services, such as those that the pharmaceutical industry wants to promote in collaboration with other players using the multi-stakeholder platform santeneXt.  

The reference price system is unacceptable in its present form and requires various changes. One thing is clear: original products whose patents have expired would account for about 50% of medicines in the “reference price market segment”.

Thus, the research-based pharmaceutical industry would contribute more than 50 percent to cost containment within the framework of the reference price system with original preparations. In cooperation with the responsible working groups, Interpharma has defined concrete conditions under which a reference price system for drugs would be acceptable. Interpharma submitted the consultation response on 13 December and published a media release.

Both documents are available on the website

A second cost containment package, which will include various drug-related measures, is expected to be submitted for consultation at the end of 2019.