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Medicines without additional benefits are prescribed too often
According to a health insurance study, doctors in Germany too often prescribe medication without a proven added benefit for patients. Only about every second preparation can withstand such a scientific evaluation. On the other hand, drugs with added benefits are often not prescribed.
Only every second drug with added benefit Only about every second new drug has an additional benefit for patients. As the news agency dpa reports, such preparations without added value are quite often prescribed by the doctor compared to common medicines. This emerges from a report published by the health insurance company DAK-Gesundheit in Berlin on Tuesday. The fund concludes that the 2011 law on the reorganization of the pharmaceutical market (AMNOG) has proven itself in principle, but has further weaknesses.
Lack of information from medical professionals The law stipulates that new drugs must be checked for their additional benefits for therapy. The price is then negotiated between the manufacturer and the cash register within one year of the market launch. If this does not succeed, an arbitration board has another three months to reach an agreement. According to the information, the pharmaceutical company alone continues to determine the starting price of their product during this time. The statutory health insurance (GKV) advocates that the negotiated prices apply retrospectively in order to prevent excessive prices in the first twelve to 15 months. The health insurance companies speculate that it may be due to a lack of information from the medical profession that new active ingredients are prescribed so often without any added benefit.
Pay more attention to the quality of care The Association of Researching Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (vfa) complains of a one-sided focus on cost reduction. The quality of care, on the other hand, must be given greater attention. The innovation balance of the pharmaceutical industry is "as good as it has been for a long time," said vfa chief executive Birgit Fischer. Refinancing of the investments is no longer possible, however, if the prices for new medicines in this country fall below the European average. The association also complained, according to Reuters, that drugs with added benefit were often not prescribed to patients.
"End of the moon prices for medication" Even if some of the preparations have disappeared from the market due to the cost-cutting law, this has not led to supply bottlenecks so far, argued DAK boss Herbert Rebscher. Their active ingredients would be easily replaced by other drugs. The AMNOG is also not a brake on innovation. The CDU / CSU health expert Jens Spahn sees “a small revolution” in the pharmaceutical market reform. This law "meant the end of the moon prices for medicines," Spahn told dpa. He further explained: “But it is also clear that the AMNOG is a learning system. We want real innovations to be available to patients quickly. They still have to be paid well. ”
Older medicines should also be tested for their benefits. In Germany there is, so to speak, a two-part pharmaceutical market, criticized Rebscher and the chairman of the drug commission of the German medical profession, Wolf-Dieter Ludwig. For example, the existing market for pharmaceuticals that were introduced before January 1, 2011 was not subjected to a review. As Ludwig said, a legislative response would be possible here. Rebscher said that the newer drugs that were introduced after this date should be checked again for their benefits after two or three years. (ad)
Image: Verena Münch / pixelio.de