THIRD PHASE OF FRENCH REIMBURSEMENT LIST EVALUATION BEGINS
Further cuts in healthcare spending are expected as France's health authority -- the HAS -- starts the third phase of its reimbursement list evaluation.
The efficacy of 141 vasodilators, anti-diarrhoeals and drugs for mild gastrointestinal problems will be reassessed and the results will be used to determine which products will be subject to continued reimbursement by the health ministry.
In Q305, despite public opposition, the government proposed the removal of 360 drugs from the 35% reimbursement list, in a bid to cut healthcare spending by EUR3.5bn (US$4.35bn) by 2008. Some 400 products -- including a number of herbal remedies -- with 2004 sales of below EUR400mn (US$488.74mn) were analysed for efficacy, with 90% of them judged as not providing adequate health benefits. Many of the drugs in question were subsidised despite being easily available as OTCs.
In a second phase last year, 245 drugs were re-evaluated and 221 were deemed to be of insufficient medical benefit. Most were dropped from the reimbursement list, but 62 vein tonics were given a partial reprieve.