Health insurance companies (HIC) returned on surcharges on pharmaceuticals for the second quarter of 2014 to 22,000 disabled persons and pensioners. Within the safeguard limit on surcharges on drugs HIC sent back more than € 403,000. General Health Insurance Company will return 310,000 Euros to 16,933policyholders. Dôvera will return to its 4,001 policyholders more than 71,000 Euros. Union Health Insurance Company sends back more than € 22,000 to its 955 policyholders.
Health Insurance Company Dôvera is recording within its insured annually about a million of drug interactions. To prevent of this interactions assists the application “Safe medication”. It is going to be more accessible for doctors now. The service will be online in the autumn – available directly in doctor´s the software. Dôvera expects fewer duplicate prescriptions of drugs and lower risk of drug interactions. Application displays drug book and patient medical records from other doctors. Doctors perceive project as a small electronization of healthcare.
From Slovakia have been exported more than a million drug packages last year. It is only about a third of what distributors reported with the intention to export. As is apparent from the data of the State Institute for Drug Control (SIDC), distributors announced export of more than 3.1 million packages, however, actually went abroad 1.03 mil. SIDC last year issued 113 decisions on not to permit the export of 85,875 drug packages. It was 24 pharmaceuticals, which export could mean unavailability for Slovak patients. Changes in the export policy introduced an amendment to the Act on Drugs and Medical Devices last year. Export of medicines is since then monitored. Distributors must report to SIDC intention to export the drug.
Health insurance companies (HIC) returned payments for drugs for the last quarter of 2013 to thousands of disabled persons and pensioners. Health insurance companies returned to policyholders by the safeguard limit hundreds of thousands euros. Policyholders will receive the money automatically; there is no need to apply for them. General Health Insurance Company (VšZP) will return supplements for drugs to 17.113 policyholders of which 9.966 are old-age pensioners and 7.147 are disabled persons. Overall, VšZP sends back € 325.667. Dôvera HIC sends back amount of 79.000 euros to 4.209 insured persons. Union Health Insurance Company returned payments to 1.281 policyholders of which 927 are severely disabled and 354 are pensioners. Together company will send 24.805 euros.
Pharmacists have for the first time announced a list of more than 170 pharmaceuticals which they have problem of providing them to the patients. The list contains pharmaceuticals for serious diseases. The biggest part is composed of oncological pharmaceuticals, then pharmaceuticals for rheumatism and asthma, anemia and pharmaceuticals for treating HIV. The reason of this situation is not only the export of pharmaceuticals abroad but also the fact that they even do not reach the Slovak market. Ministry of Health Care refuses the problem of unavailability and blames the pharmacists for spreading of a hoax. Yet the pharmacists insist on the claim that the medications for patients are not available. Ministry of Health Care at the same time gave a fine for the first time in the amount of 10.000 euros because of unavailable medication and plans to continue with this. Currently it investigates the unavailability of four other pharmaceuticals.
Health insurance companies last year returned to policyholders by the safeguard limit payments for drugs of 2.1 million euro. Overall, supplements were sent back to more than 100.000 people. Insurance companies returned overpayments for the first three quarters of last year and the last quarter of 2011. According to Healthcare Surveillance Authority, the highest payment that was returned was in amount 1043.86 euro. Most payments have returned the largest General Health Insurance Company. According to the amendment of the Act that is in force since April 2011, entitlement to repayment surcharges begins if a quarter payments for pharmaceuticals exceeds the limit 45 euros for pensioners and € 30 for severely disabled person by more than three euros.
According to analyses of Transparency International Slovakia (TIS), Ministry of Health decides which drugs will be covered by health insurance not always in accordance with applicable regulations. TIS analysis points out that half of the applications for new drugs in the past year have not been settled up within the statutory period of six months; the ministry generally lacked expert opinions, and never once was assessing the cost-effectiveness and impact on public finances, despite the fact that the law requires it. Health insurance companies paid annually on drugs 850 million euros, what represents about a third of the total cost on health care from public sources. The analysis examined the categorization of drugs for about one year.
Health insurance companies will return for the fourth quarter of 2012 hundreds of thousands euros for surcharges for thousands of disabled and retired patients. Policyholders will receive the money automatically to the account, so there is no need to apply for them. General Health Insurance Company will send back surcharges for pharmaceuticals to 23.517 policyholders, in amount € 448.206. Health Insurance company Dôvera will send back surcharges for pharmaceuticals to 5.886 policyholders, in total amount of 112.213 euros. Union Health Insurance Company will return to 1.500 policyholders the payments in total amount of more than € 30.600.
Price of pharmaceuticals in Slovakia will be not higher than the average of three lowest prices in the European Union. This principle is also related to medical devices and dietary supplements. This stems from an amendment to the Act on pharmaceuticals signed by President Ivan Gašparovič. Currently, the maximum price can not exceed the second lowest price in the European Union. Before that, prices were set by comparison of six lowest prices in Union. The aim of the amendment is introduction of more equitable method of pricing of pharmaceuticals considering prices of other Member States and exchange rate changes.
Loyalty systems on prescription drugs in pharmacies will be cancelled from next year. However, amendment to the Act on pharmaceuticals, signed by President of the Slovak Republic, give pharmacists the opportunity to give up the part of their margin in the form of discounts up to 50% of the surcharge for drugs. According to amended, natural or legal person will receive permission for the provision of pharmaceutical care in only one public pharmacy and only for one division of public pharmacy. In practice, it means the elimination of network of pharmacies. The amendment will enter into force on January 2, 2013.