PROPOSED SPANISH HEALTHCARE LAW HARMFUL AND UNNECESSARY?
Spain's pharmaceutical industry association, Farmaindustria, has criticised a new law -- expected to be ratified in the summer -- that aims to reduce healthcare spending in the country.
The new legislation includes a 20% cut in reference prices, which Farmaindustria claims could cost the industry up to EUR1bn (US$1.2bn) and lead to pharmaceutical plant closures and the associated loss of 2,700 jobs.
In addition, the association believes the new measures are unnecessary as the issue of increasing drug prices is under control. Spain's expenditure on pharmaceuticals for 2006 is expected to rise 5%, compared to 5.6% in the previous year and 6.4% in 2004. A further decrease in spending is expected in 2007.
Farmaindustria's concerns may result in an amendment to the law when the topic is debated in the Senate, according to an unnamed industry source.