Historical Archive

I keep buying, you keep paying

To reduce health care costs, in addition to the proposed new tickets which was discussed yesterday, the Minister of Health Balduzzi thought of bringing forward to the current year what was foreseen for 2013 in the maneuver of July last year (the art. 17, paragraph 1, letter b, of the maneuver of July 2011, law 111/2011): the intention is to withdraw almost one billion euros from pharmaceutical companies, to compensate for the overruns of the hospital expenditure ceiling today borne by the Regions. Within less than twenty days (expected date, 30 June) a regulation is expected on a proposal from the Ministry of Health in concert with that of the Economy and Finance which defines the procedures for charging pharmaceutical companies with the 35% of hospital expenditure overruns .

The last Aifa data relating to 2011 indicate a hospital pharmaceutical expenditure of 3,780.6 million euros, i.e. 3.6% of health expenditure (which represents, more or less by chance, the same percentage indicated by Farmindustria as the "ideal ceiling" for hospitals) , although the legal ceiling for this item is fixed at 2.4% of the health fund (limit, moreover, established without taking into account the real demand): this overrun represents an overrun of the ceiling of approximately 1,230 million, the settlement burden of which is however shifted to pharmaceutical companies, although they are not primarily responsible for spending.

In fact, the pharmaceutical sector represents only 16% of health expenditure: therefore, if the regulation were effectively signed, a disproportionate contribution to the settlement would be required (equal to a third of the 1.5 billion euros envisaged for 2012 to be paid by health spending reviews) to an entity that is responsible for the creation of expenditure for a much lower percentage.

It should also be considered that the hospitals themselves decide which and how many drugs to buy. For their part, companies cannot refuse to supply the medicines requested: in practice, therefore, suppliers are not paid for products regularly purchased by choice of the buyer. In other words, they are forced to give him part of the expense.

In addition to being an unfair intervention

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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco