Businesses: Prescription drug prices and patient co-payments are rising less than inflation

Businesses: Prescription drug prices and patient co-payments are rising less than inflation
Businesses: Prescription drug prices and patient co-payments are rising less than inflation

Commercial presentation Update: 25/04/2024 12:36
Issued by: 04/25/2024, 12:36 p.m

Prague – According to pharmaceutical companies, the prices of prescription drugs and patient co-payments for them are rising less than inflation. In five years, the average price of a package of medicine increased from 264 crowns to 287 crowns, and the average patient copayment from 60 to 71 crowns. Total prescription drug costs rose 4.2 percent to $44.2 billion. Their share of costs in the entire healthcare sector is decreasing, last year they accounted for roughly 17.5 percent of the costs exceeding 500 billion crowns. The information was presented to journalists today by representatives of the Czech Association of Pharmaceutical Companies (ČAFF) and the Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Industry (AIFP).

“The real prices of prescription drugs in pharmacies in the Czech Republic have been falling over the past five years. This means that their price growth was significantly lower than the growth of the consumer price index. While prescription drugs had a compound annual growth rate of 2.1 percent, consumer prices were 8.3 percent,” said Martin Fiala, director of the IQVIA consulting company, which prepared the analysis for the companies. According to him, food prices rose by eight percent and housing by ten percent at the same time.

The prices of prescription drugs in the Czech Republic are determined by the state, as they are mostly covered by public health insurance. It defines what their maximum amount can be when entering the Czech market and the amount of the business surcharge of distributors and pharmacies. In most cases, according to ČAF director Filip Vrubel, competition on the market and the active drug policy of the state and health insurance companies lead to a further drop in prices.

“The price of the medicine is set here as the average of the three lowest prices of the given medicine in the countries of the reference basket, the medicine cannot then be placed on the Czech market by the manufacturer at a price higher than the maximum. In addition, health insurance companies and the State Institute for Drug Control also use other tools that limit on these products,” said AIFP director David Kolář.

According to Vrubel, about half of the prescription drugs are free of charge for the patient, for the rest patients paid an average of 71 crowns last year. “Patient surcharges are growing in units of crowns per year, in the long term they are well below the inflation curve,” he said.

The state regulates the amount that people can pay in co-payments for medicines per year. The so-called protective limits are 500 crowns for seniors over 70 and disabled pensioners and 1,000 crowns for children and people aged 65 to 70 years, the amount above these limits is returned by the health insurance company by deposit or to the account. Currently, the ministry is preparing an amendment that would allow people to have their co-payments deducted directly from the amount they pay at the pharmacy when they reach the limit.

In the Czech Republic, 154 million packages of prescription drugs were prescribed last year, an average of 2.1 percent more in five years. According to the analysis, the price of the hundred analyzed drugs, which are dispensed most often in pharmacies and make up about a third of the market, and which include preparations for diabetes, blood clotting or heart disease, decreased by an average of 1.3 percent per year in the last five years.

Development of prescription drug prices in the last five years:

Year 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 cumulative change over five years (in pct)
Total prescription drugs (in CZK) 37.5 billion 37.8 billion 39.9 billion 41.7 billion 44.2 billion + 4.2
Number of packages (in millions) 142 143.3 146 152.5 154 + 2.1
Average price per package 264 CZK 264 CZK 273 CZK 273 CZK 287 CZK + 2.1
Average payment of ZP 209 CZK

214 CZK

219 CZK

223 CZK

232 CZK

+ 2.7
Average patient co-payment

CZK 60

61 CZK

64 CZK

66 CZK

71 CZK + 4.2

source: IQVIA analysis for ČAFF and AIFP

bathtub etc

CR market pharmaceutical drugs prices TABLE

The article is in Czech

Tags: Businesses Prescription drug prices patient copayments rising inflation


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