The Rijksoverheid (Government of the Netherlands) has announced that Germany is no longer part of its international reference pricing basket.
The announcement comes after concerns over the high average drug prices in Germany has increased the entire EU average price across patented medicines.
Currently, the reference basket includes France, Belgium, the UK and Germany however the Minister for Medical Care, Bruno Bruins has confirmed the latter will be replaced by Norway as a reference country. This move has been motivated chiefly by cost savings, with the Rijksoverheid projecting this to be around €300 million annually.
Announcing the decision, Bruins stated on the Rijksoverheid’s website:
“In recent years, our pricing system has been out of control. We will now straighten that out. We do this carefully, because the adjustment may not lead to manufacturers deciding not to place their product on the market in the Netherlands. With Norway as the new reference country, our maximum prices are around the European average. This way we ensure that medicines remain affordable and available.”
The announcement has taken effect as of the 18th December, but the expected lower EU average price is anticipated to become apparent around April 2020.
Read the announcement (in Dutch) here.