Dossiers - Cost-reduction package I
The wrong recipe for a sustainable healthcare
The chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries have an interest in maintaining a sound and stable healthcare system, which is why scienceindustries is actively involved in the process of implementing the cost reduction scheme.
This scheme, which was approved by the Swiss Federal Council at the end of March 2018, comprises both new and ongoing measures. It makes all actors within the healthcare system responsible and is designed to ensure that costs only increase to a medically justifiable extent.
The first package of measures includes proposals for new cost controls and rate regulations, along with an experimentation article and a reference price system for medicinal products. scienceindustries made its views on this clear during the consultation process back in autumn 2018. In August 2019, the Federal Council adopted the Dispatch on the partial revision of the Federal Health Insurance Act (HIA) concerning the first package of measures to reduce healthcare costs and referred it to the Swiss parliament. scienceindustries has carried out an analysis of the Dispatch on the first cost-reduction package and stated its position: we object to both the experimentation article now being proposed and the reference price system, as neither of these measures will do anything to improve patient care or provide any noticeable premium relief for insurance policyholders.
With regard to prices for medicinal products, it is worth stressing that these are subject to mandatory annual reviews by the federal government anyway and around a billion Swiss francs have already been saved since 2017 simply through ongoing cuts. The system is working and the industry is now paying the price. Any further optimisations can be ensured within the framework of this system without any legislative changes.
Consultation on second cost-reduction package in 2020
The consultation process for the second package of cost-reduction measures is due to take place in 2020. The aim here is to relieve the strain on mandatory health insurance (OKP) etc. by taking further measures regarding medicinal products, while also looking into the possibility of introducing binding targets. If such targets were to be exceeded, sanctions would be imposed with a view to raising cost awareness among the actors responsible. It is now a matter of waiting for concrete proposals to be put forward so that we can then make a statement on these too.