Rösler threatens pharma industry with drug discounts

Rösler threatens pharma industry with drug discounts
Photo: DPA
German Health Minister Philipp Rösler on Wednesday threatened the pharmaceutical industry with mandated drug discounts to help rein in costs.

In an interview with daily Bild, the 37-year-old trained physician said he would require drug firms to negotiate with public health insurers “as soon as possible” to lower prices for medicines.

“I always said that I would take a hard approach to the pharmaceutical industry and their prices,” the pro-business Free Democrat told the paper, adding that until the two sides reached a new agreement, there would be mandatory discounts and a price moratorium.

But Rösler did not tell the paper exactly what kind of price reductions consumers could expect.

“That depends on the negotiation results,” he said, but added they could total some €2 billion.

In addition to providing their products for a more affordable price, drug companies will also be required to publish a scientific study on the benefits of their medications.

Rösler said he plans to present the plan to coalition party parliamentary groups soon.

“The law will be in place by the end of the year at the latest,” he told the paper.

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