Achmea, hospitals take on pharmaceutical companies

Health insurer Achmea and 12 hospitals are joining together to purchase expensive medicines in an effort to force pharmaceutical companies to give them a reduction on the price.

Each of the 90 hospitals in the Netherlands currently negotiates its own price for these medicines and then declare the cost to the health insurer.

‘Hospitals probably negotiate reductions but what we see on the bills is the market price,’ Achmea’s head of purchasing Peter de Braal told the Financieele Dagblad. ‘We do not know how much reduction they receive and what they do with the money.’


De Braal thinks hospitals could be more professional in their negotiations with the pharmaceutical companies and that negotiating as one block could lead to lower prices.

Achmea and the hospitals are starting their joint action this week with TNF-alfa blockers used for patients with chronic rheumatism and Crohn’s disease. These cost health insurers €450m a year.

De Braal estimates the possible savings at up to 39%, based on what other countries pay for similar drugs. If the action is a success, other expensive medicines will also be purchased jointly, the FD said.

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