Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The European court of justice price-fixing of prescription-only tilts … – FAZ – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

From the judgment, many German pharmacies.

German price regulation on prescription drugs in breach of the European court of justice (ECJ), against EU law. The scheme was an unjustified restriction on the free movement of goods, stated the judges in Luxembourg this Wednesday.

The verdict is extremely controversial. So far, a single prescription costs paid drug in Germany in any pharmacy, always the same. For those drugs-the price of loyalty provides. Specifically, it works like this: drug manufacturer can initially determine yourself, what are the prices you medicines to pharmacies and wholesalers. They will then charge their purchase prices of the statutory surcharges. For a prescription medication is the same charge always applies. He is three percent of the purchase price. In addition, pharmacies per pack may calculate 8,10 Euro. A specific prescription medicine costs, therefore, in every pharmacy, in every place, all the same. In the case of legally Insured persons pay the price – with the exception of certain co-payments – the health insurance companies, but also for the privately Insured.

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The price ceiling is to ensure, according to the Federal Ministry of health that medicines are too expensive and that health insurance contributions remain affordable. A further objective of equal conditions of competition and a nationwide pharmacy network in all regions of Germany.

The Cjeu in the present case, with a cooperation of the self-help organization of the German Parkinson’s disease Association and the Dutch mail order pharmacy DocMorris. The members were able to get from the pharmacy bonuses, prescription-only medicines for Parkinson’s disease. According to the German centre for protection against unfair competition in breach of the in Germany legally required establishment of a single pharmacy selling price.

In the first instance, had success in the competition center with your suit. The Düsseldorf higher regional court had taken into account the ECJ. The court has now decided in principle on the German price regulation on prescription drugs.

“A long-discussed question has been cleared finally by the ECJ,” said Reiner Münker, managing Director of the competition headquarters, in a communication: “The decision will have a massive impact on the pharmacy market.” The legislature must now consider, as same competitive conditions for pharmacies. For this purpose, two possibilities are conceivable: Either he creates the price for prescription drugs entirely, or it prohibits the mail-order trade for these medicines. Such a ban has been considered, in his view, by the ECJ, already compliant with European law.

An important EU-reviewers at the Cjeu, advocate General Maciej Szpunar, had said in June in the process: “Quite apart from the fact it could come without a price commitment to lower prices, which could benefit the social security System.”

the speaker of The Federal Union of German associations of Pharmacists, said before the verdict: “In the area there are many smaller pharmacies, the rooms have no great economic game.” They provide, however, a full range of products and fulfilling important public service tasks. “Advise you, make a night – and emergency services.” If “retailers pick the raisins out, would feel this pharmacies and, ultimately, the patient’s the impact.”

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