Health torpedoes the use of medicines without a financing agreement

Health torpedoes the use of medicines without a financing agreement

The Ministry of Health has given a twist to the method of using medicines that have not yet received public funding. Until now, a drug can be used under these conditions if a hospital considers that one of its patients may need it, paying the agreed amount directly to the laboratory that owns the therapy. However, now the Health will condition this use on the fact that it has not received the refusal to spend it from the Interministerial Price Commission, the body in charge of authorizing the entry of new treatments.

Health relies on a report from the State Attorney’s Office to understand that this practice creates inequality. In addition, it is understood that the possibility of benefiting from compassionate use (which is the so-called use of drugs that have not yet been financed technically) is not legal if there is a refusal to spend it. “The objective scope of article 17.6 of the Royal Decree refers to medicines and health products that are not included in the financing of the SNS, but not to medicines that have, apparently, a non-financial resolution,” said the report. to which this medium has access.

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But under the umbrella of preserving fairness lies the pitfall of practice. The majority of new drugs that go to the Interministerial Price Commission in search of financing usually receive, in the first attempt, a refusal from Health. Not in vain, Spain needs more than 600 days to approve a drug once the European Commission gives the go-ahead.

This initial refusal falls within the ministerial logic of pressure to get the best possible price for a therapy. However, and until now, in this negotiation process, the laboratories have the possibility to get a certain income through the kind use of the medicine. Now, with the new ministerial directive, they should think carefully about going to a Price Commission because they may also lose the compassionate use.
In practice, the new way of acting in Health puts pressure on pharmaceutical companies so that they do not seek financing with high prices, although it is true that usually, in the first estimation, the laboratories tend to go to average European prices.

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Autonomic pressure

The Health report also includes another conclusion to avoid parallel financing, since the pharmaceutical policy is owned by the state. “The Autonomous Communities and the governing entities cannot be included in their portfolio of services and, therefore, cannot spend with public funds, medicines that have an explicit resolution not to finance because it creates difference in the conditions of access to medicines”, ensures the mentioned document.

This guide addresses, among other issues, the partisan use that occurs on certain occasions of certain drugs, especially vaccines. In recent years there have been denials of Health in some serums that some communities have overlooked and offered to their citizens.

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