Cost of medicines to fall by 10%

A two-year agreement signed by health minister Ab Klink, the pharmaceutical sector and health insurers will see the cost of many medicines fall by 10%. This means households will pay €200 less on health care premiums, reports news service ANP.

The deal applies to branded medicines whose patents have expired and their generic substitutes. The cost of drugs for which patents expire in 2008 will be cut in half, ANP says.
The lower prices will generate a saving of €340m in 2008 and €456m in 2009.
In a statement on Monday, pharmaceutical distribution group OPG said the new agreement would cut operating profits for its Pharmacies Netherlands unit by 17% in 2008. The company said it will aim to offset the loss through efficiency improvements and better purchasing conditions.
Meanwhile OPG is still forecasting an operating profit of €130m for this year.

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