On the 27th July the draft for the GKV Financial Stabilisation Act was passed by the federal cabinet. One notable change from the last released updated bill was the removal of the solidarity levy of 2 billion euros over two years, instead there is the inclusion of manufacturer discount for patent protected medicines which will be increased by 5% in 2023 going from 7% to 12% with the aim of saving 1 billion euros. Other important measures that were included in the act are:
- Health insurance companies are used with a cross-insurance solidarity compensation to stabilize the contribution rates. In addition, the upper limit for the liquidity reserve of the health fund will be halved.
- Federal subsidy: The existing federal subsidy for statutory health insurance will be increased by EUR 2 billion from EUR 14.5 billion for 2023.
- Federal loan: The federal government grants the GKV an interest-free loan for 2023 of 1 billion euros to the health fund.
- Reform AMNOG: Medium-term structural changes in the pricing of drugs with new active ingredients and additional measures to curb the increase in expenditure.
- Increase in the pharmacy discount from EUR 1.77 to EUR 2 per drug pack (limited to two years).
- The price moratorium on pharmaceuticals will be extended until the end of 2026.
- Specification of the professional groups that can be considered in the care budget.
- The extra-budgetary remuneration for contract doctor services compared to “new patients” for contract doctors will be abolished.
- Limitation of fee increases for dentists.
- The Federal Ministry of Health will determine the average additional contribution rate in statutory health insurance on the basis of the results of the GKV estimator group in autumn. An increase in the additional contribution by 0.3 percentage points is currently not unrealistic.
Many from pharmaceuticals associations continue to challenge the benefits of the bill arguing that manufacturers are already making contributions to the stabilisation of GKV finances. Moreover, others such as Hubertus Cranz, General Manager of the German Association of Drug Manufacturers (BAH) fear that continued limitation of drug prices will mean that the production of drugs will not be financially viable in some cases as productions and logistic costs are increased with the current high inflation and that this may lead to market withdrawals and weaken Germany as a location to launch pharmaceuticals.
Federal Minister of Health, Karl Lauterbach, explained when presenting the draft act to cabinet that he heard the complaints from Industry. However, he remains convinced that an industry with such increases in sales and profits can make a greater contribution to stabilizing cash register finances and believed that it was most important that there would be no cuts to benefits to the patients.
- https://www.deutsche-apotheker-zeitung.de/news/artikel/2022/07/27/innovationen-und-investitionen-sind-gefaehrdet “Innovationen und Investitionen sind gefährdet”, 27th July 2022
- https://www.deutsche-apotheker-zeitung.de/news/artikel/2022/07/27/lange-diskussionen-fast-keine-aenderungen “Lange Diskussionen, (fast) keine Änderungen”, 27th July 2022