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Berlin aims to end big pharma's price monopoly

AFP · 29 Jun 2010, 16:38

Published: 29 Jun 2010 16:38 GMT+02:00

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Currently, drug makers are able to name any price they wish for as long as a medicine is under patent, but now the firms will have to do more to prove that a drug offers benefits over what is already on the market.

The change will also force the firms to negotiate prices with Germany's many health insurers, which are on course to run up an €11 billion deficit next year.

The move is part of a planned root-and-branch reform of German healthcare by Chancellor Angela Merkel's eight-month-old coalition as it seeks to cut spending and achieve a balanced budget by 2016.

Earlier this month she unveiled more than €80 billion worth of spending cuts, but plans on where exactly money will be saved remain vague and she has ruled out raising taxes.

Story continues below…

The bill is due to go before parliament later this summer and the government hopes it will take effect by the end of the year.

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Your comments about this article

23:42 June 29, 2010 by whatzup
We'll see if drug prices really start to come down. The companies that make them are such a huge lobby that I find it hard to believe that this latest public campaign will amount to much. Watch out for the smoke and mirrors.
20:21 July 2, 2010 by Laurence F
Take 2 aspirins and forget about any future new drugs.

You may not like the drug companies, but they have saved your life (vaccines) or the lives of your friends and Families. There are economic realities in creating and developing drugs. If, you Europeans want your socialized medicine, then you will have to learn to do without; without enough doctors, without enough medicines, and without enough modern medical equipment. The math doesn't add up for a Utopian medical system or call it socialized medicine.

Realty bites!
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