The draft Council conclusions on encouraging cooperation between EU Member States looks to enhance transparency across Europe through a number of methods. Two of the main points put forth in the document were:
- enhanced transparency through better sharing of information; and
- strengthening bargaining power, particularly for smaller markets
EU health ministers will encourage EU countries to “share more information on and within pricing agreements relating to medicinal products on a voluntary basis, with a view to increasing transparency and improving the leverage of individual Member States in negotiations with industry and – consequently – enhancing the affordability of these products across the EU.”
Drug manufacturers offer individual Member States discounts in return for pricing confidentiality, making it one of their biggest bargaining powers as the price of a medicine in one country can influence the price in another country.