Lääketeollisuus ry is concerned about the 60 million euro savings measures for medical care proposed by the government and demands that the savings be rationalized, regardless of whether changes are made to nurse staffing or not.
The savings sought from the government’s pharmaceutical expenditures to finance the nurse dimensioning mean almost double the savings to be borne by the pharmaceutical industry, the organization calculates.
In the last few days, there has been a hope for a postponement of the increase of the nurse ratio to 0.7. The pharmaceutical industry demands that if changes and additional time for implementation are decided during the budget rush, pharmaceutical savings must be transferred and reduced in a similar way.
“We see this as appropriate also because the measures being prepared now require careful evaluation and sufficient implementation time in order to ensure patient safety”, CEO of Lääkeindustrið Sanna Lauslahti tells.
“The savings are just not reasonable”
The organization reminds that drug savings have already been made several times in the last 10 years. According to Lauslahti, the wholesale prices of medicines in Finland are below the European average, and the continuous drop in wholesale prices and the sudden increase in production costs challenge companies in the sector.
When deciding on pharmaceutical savings, the effects of the corona crisis or the war in Ukraine on the production and operating environment of the pharmaceutical industry were not known, he reminds.
“Due to the crises, the costs of manufacturing products, raw materials, materials and logistics have increased significantly. The increase in the price level will be covered by the pharmaceutical companies. In this situation, the savings are just not reasonable.”
It’s time for others to bear the responsibility for savings
Lauslahti reminds that the cost-saving measures related to medicines have repeatedly targeted the pharmaceutical industry and patients in recent years.
“Therefore, it is reasonable that other actors in the drug distribution chain in turn bear responsibility for the savings.”
According to him, the original starting point of the preparation, in which the saving amount targeted at the pharmaceutical industry was smaller than the one presented now, would have been the fairest in terms of equal treatment of operators.
According to him, savings could be sought from enhancing competition after the end of patent protection. According to Lauslahti, if changes are made, they should be implemented patient-oriented and without compromising safety.
“This is the only way to ensure that Finns will continue to have equal access to the most effective medical treatments they need. While producing health and increasing life expectancy for people, society saves other costs.”