The European court of justice (ECJ) has overturned the German price regulation on prescription drugs. The establishment of uniform tax rates effect of restricting the free movement of goods in the EU, in the Wednesday’s judgment. In the output case, the “German Association of Parkinson’s disease had” with the Dutch mail order pharmacy DocMorris a bonus system for its members. In contrast, the centre for protection against unfair competition, filed a lawsuit.
The pricing system is to perform according to the Federal Ministry of health, among other things, that patients “need to compare in your special needs situation, not even prices between pharmacies”. It was also to prevent that the drugs are too expensive and health insurance contributions is priceless. Finally, the scheme should help to ensure that even in remote regions, the supply by pharmacies.
The Cjeu argued, however, that the price for prescription drugs providers from other EU-could make it difficult for countries to access to the German market. In principle, a restriction on the free movement of goods with the protection of health and life may be justified, but the price is not stated in the grounds of judgment of the ECJ. Thereafter, the manufacturer can set the price of their drugs. Pharmacies may, however, calculate only single premiums.
The Apothecary had eagerly been waiting on the verdict. The speaker of the Federal Union of German associations of Pharmacists, of Pure core, had warned that retailers “pick the raisins out”, and could put pharmacies under too much pressure.
Not only an Online provider: DocMorris-Apotheke Bremen
The court’s judges argued, however, that price competition for mail-order pharmacies is a more important competition might be a factor as for the traditional pharmacies. The traditional providers are better able to advise patients by staff individually and an emergency supply of medicines.
German pharmacists respond shocked
“Europe’s highest judge have undermined the clear intention of the German legislator and the decisions of the German Supreme courts negated,” said the President of the Federal Union of German associations of Pharmacists (ABDA), Friedemann Schmidt after the verdict. The pharmacists were horrified. The ECJ had intervened in a policy field reserved to the States. The Federal Association of the Pharmaceutical industry (BPI) expects that now the pressure on the prices of medicines will increase.
“We are pleased about the case law of the ECJ,” said DocMorris CEO Olaf Heinrich. The company has the customer bonuses on the recipe, always “at the expense of the granted margin”. Chronically ill people with a need for substantial and regular Medications would be relieved annually by several Hundred dollars: “The Patient saves the healthcare system is not loaded.”
tko/ zdh (afp, dpa, rtr)