The new Reimbursement Act in Poland will lead to a palpable diminishing of the Polish pharmaceutical market during 2012, according to Brendon Melck, European Analyst at IHS Global Insight.
Price negotiations carried out in association with the act have resulted in an average price reduction of 8.5% for reimbursed medicines, while high-cost medicines may become less easy to access.
“The consequences of the uncertainty and bureaucratic upheavals associated with the act are bound to have a negative effect on the Polish pharmaceutical market, as well as the reduction in the prices of reimbursed medicines as a result of negotiations,” said Melck.
“Of particular concern will be the possibility of high-cost medicines being placed in limit groups, resulting in a potentially severe restriction in access to these medicines.”
“Limit groups collect a number of medicines with different active pharmaceutical ingredients, so it is perfectly possible that there will be a situation whereby an expensive, innovative medicine indicated to treat a serious condition will be in the same group as a generic drug.
“This will be particularly concerning in the case of medicines that are currently included in therapeutic programmes and are set to be transferred to “drug programmes” from July, including medicines to treat various cancers and rheumatoid arthritis.
“The question remains of how the limit groups in these therapeutic areas will be constructed, and although the Reimbursement Act is clearly intended to reduce pharmaceutical expenditure, the uproar that would result from patients being forced to pay for high-cost cancer medicines would be more than the Polish government would be prepared to risk for cost containment.”