SPANISH DRUG INDUSTRY WORRIES AS PRICE CUTS MOVE CLOSER TO BECOMING LAW

A A

Spain's pharmaceutical industry association Farmaindustria has entered into urgent negotiations with drugmakers in the country, as the government's draft healthcare bill -- which aims to drastically cut drug prices -- moves closer to being ratified.

The new legislation has already been submitted to Spain's state council for discussion, and once the body has published its views, the parliamentary process of implementing the law will be able to begin. The bill is calling for a 20% reduction in reference prices for all medicines that have been available for over 10 years and do not have a generic equivalent.

Farmaindustria maintains that if no generic versions exist it is because the medicines are competitively priced already, or because there is no market for a generic. The body is calling for the proposed law to be amended so that innovative new drugs are exempt and the price-controls are not applied retroactively.

The Spanish government has been attempting to reduce drug expenditure since 2000 and estimates that the new law will bring savings of EUR1.49bn (US$1.78bn). However, Farmaindustria is concerned that drugmakers will be forced to pick up most of the bill, and predicts that sales and foreign investment will be negatively impacted.