Prices of medicinal products for human use

EESC opinion: Prices of medicinal products for human use

Key points: The EESC:

  • notes that lengthy pricing and reimbursement processes contribute to postponing the launch of innovative medicines to the market which in turn has a negative impact on patients;
  • underlines that in order to promote equal competition and create a single market, the directive should not be limited to the public insurance schemes, but should apply to the whole market, including private health insurance schemes;
  • stresses that effective mechanisms in the Member States are necessary to control and enforce compliance with the time limits for pricing and reimbursement decisions;
  • points out that, with respect to the shorter time limits, the highest priority must be patient safety;
  • suggests that the Transparency Committee established already by the previous directive should have a broader representation;
  • considers that patient and consumer organizations should have the right to request initiation of the process of inclusion of medical products in health insurance systems;
  • notes that health insurance companies have an increasing role and influence; therefore, Member States should carry out a regular review of their activities;
  • asks Member States to regularly review the prices and reimbursement of those medicinal products where costs are unreasonably high for the health insurance schemes and patients;
  • urges that decisions on price increases, freeze, reductions and other approvals should be based on transparent and objective criteria;
  • opposes Article 14 of the proposal on non-interference of intellectual property rights and emphasizes that a balance should be kept between authorisation of reimbursement of medicinal products and the legitimate interests of third parties in their IPR;
  • calls on the European Commission to accept in external relations special rules for vital, expensive medicines applicable to developing and emerging countries.

For more information please contact the INT Section Secretariat

Other EESC opinions on pharmaceuticals