confidential rebates
Insider Insights

The Bundesrat rejected confidential rebates proposal in Germany


Earlier this year, the draft of the Medizinforschungsgesetz (MFG; Medicines Research Act) was unveiled, suggesting that health insurers and pharmaceutical companies could keep negotiated reimbursement amounts confidential if the latter requested it (confidential rebates). This formed a part of the federal government’s strategy to boost the appeal of the German pharmaceutical market.

At the time, it sparked considerable criticism, primarily because confidential rebates were seen as likely to cause more bureaucracy and extra costs for health insurance companies, and most importantly, hinder the selection of cost-effective medications.

Recently, the Bundesrat (Federal Council) dismissed the government’s plan to maintain confidentiality of the negotiated reimbursement amounts as proposed in the MFG. The introduction of confidential rebates was criticized for leading to “significant transparency deficits in health economic evaluations that are essential today.” This rejection was applauded by both the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds and the AOK Federal Association.

Stefanie Stoff-Ahnis, a board member of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds, remarked: “Secret pricing erodes the principle of economic prudence. Without price transparency, doctors cannot prescribe cost-effectively. Dominance of secret pricing would drastically inflate the already increasing drug expenditures by billions of euros.”

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