Doctors, pharmacists and patients organisations are angry about government plans to cut spending on medicine, which they say hit patients rather than force down prices, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Friday.
A meeting at the health ministry earlier this month to discuss the plans ended in ‘pandemonium’, sources told the paper.
‘Everyone was angry and upset,’ Wim de Haart of the pharmaceutical sector organisation VIG said. ‘Everyone in healthcare is against it,’ Diandra Veldman from patients organisation Patiëntenfederatie Nederland is quoted as saying.
The government wants to cut spending on medicine by €140 million a year as part of a reorganisation of the pharmaceutical distribution system (GVS), which costs around €5 billion a year.
Doctors and pharmacists fear patients will have to pay towards some drugs from January next year, or will have to move to cheaper, less suitable medicines.
Health minister Ernst Kuipers expects that bringing in the price ceiling will force manufacturers to lower their prices. Patients will have to pay up to €250 towards some drugs – such as those to treat diabetes or Parkinsons – if they do not shift to a cheaper product.
Patients organisations say people with such chronic conditions are often those with the lowest incomes and they will be hardest it.
‘Patients will face an impossible choice, to pay extra or opt for a cheaper, inferior medicine,’ Ties Obers of the diabetes patients’ association said. ‘This is why we are so against the plan.’
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl 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.
DutchNews.nl 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.