Hospitals and insurers experiment with cancer drugs purchase alliance

Dutch hospitals and insurance companies have launched a pilot project to buy expensive cancer drugs together, the Volkskrant reported on Friday.

They hope the alliance will give them a stronger position in negotiations with pharmaceutical companies and so cut costs. Hospitals and insurers have worked together for some time in buying medical aids such as wheelchairs together.

The pilot project will focus on drugs to treat patients with leukemia, which currently costs around €30m per year. The total Dutch drugs budget is heading for €2bn a year, the paper said.