Saturday 10 December 2022

Cut drug prices for rare diseases, minister tells pharmaceutical firms

Drugs companies must cut the price of medicines for two rare diseases to ‘acceptable levels’ to ensure they remain in the basic health insurance package, health minister Edith Schippers said on Wednesday.

She wants drugs firms Genzyme and Shire to cut the cost of their treatments for the diseases Pompe and Fabry, and says negotiations must be completed before the summer.

The health insurance advisory council CVZ caused a storm of protest last summer when it said medicines for the two diseases should not be covered any longer but later softened its stand, saying the minister should aim for a price cut.

Medicine to treat Pompe costs between €400,000 and €700,000 per patient per year, while the Fabry drugs cost €200,000.

‘A satisfactory outcome from these talks is essential to ensure the continuation of the funding of these orphan medicines,’ the minister said in a briefing to parliament.

Earlier stories
Expensive medicine advice starts national discussion
Minister opts for ‘no cure no pay’ for some expensive medicines

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.