Bulgarian Health Fund Fights to Lower Cancer Cure Prices

Health | March 12, 2012, Monday // 18:23|  views

It emerged in recent days that Bulgaria's Health Fund had paid BGN 6 M more for medications in 2011, compared to 2010. Photo by www.sxc.hu

The Bulgarian National Health Insurance Fund, NZOK, is launching a procedure to negotiate discounts for medication used for hospital treatment of cancer patients.

The information was reported Monday by the NZOK press office.

The management of the Fund has sent letters to 62 companies holding licenses for 284 such medications, inviting them the offer discounts for the prices paid by NZOK.

The deadline to submit applications for participation in the negotiations is March 23, while the agreements will be carried out through a methodology approved by the NZOK Supervisory Board.

The methodology includes a clause under which the agreed prices cannot exceed the value determined by the last public tender of the Health Ministry.

The discounts cannot be lower than 5% and will be calculated on the bases of the so-called referent value of any particular medication.

Under Bulgarian legislation, pharmaceutical companies are mandated to notify about price reductions for the same medication in the so-called referent countries, used to compare these prices with the ones in Bulgaria.

It emerged in recent days that NZOK had paid BGN 6 M more for medications in 2011, compared to 2010, when the signing of the contracts was under the authority of the Health Ministry. Some of the medications had a price that skyrocketed 10 or more times in 2011.

Bulgaria's Health Minister, Stefan Konstantinov, who has been warned by Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov that he could be оустед, says he did not know about the above issue and was guilty only of overly trusting his now-dismissed Deputy, Gergana Pavlova, who was in charge of the medication policy of the institution.

Last Thursday, Chief Prosecutor, Boris Velchev, confirmed he had ordered a probe in the case, and promised that if there is established evidence of a crime, there would be a Court trial.

Meanwhile, Konstantinov announced that he will propose legal amendments aimed at lowering prices of medications paid for by NZOK.

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Tags: referent, NZOK, Chief Prosecutor, Boris Velchev, probe, prices, medications, Stefan Konstantinov, Boyko Borisov, health minister, medication, policy, Simeon Djankov, Gergana Pavlova, Deputy Health Minister, Boyko Borisov, health minister, medication prices, pricing policy, Sopharma


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