Berlin - 20 drugs cause fifth of drug spending. This is proven by the Medicines Report 2010, which was presented in Berlin on Wednesday. New drugs against rheumatism, cancer, asthma or multiple sclerosis are increasingly burdening the budgets of health insurance companies, explained the Barmer GEK. The 2010 Medicines Report recorded growth rates of up to 25 percent for the top 20 medicines. The average increase in spending on pharmaceuticals was six percent.
The report, which is being published for the tenth time, provides an overview of spending trends in the pharmaceutical market on the basis of 8.5 million policyholders. Barmer-GEK vice-boss Rolf-Ulrich Schlenker warned on Wednesday in Berlin that the statutory health insurances would be overburdened due to the high drug prices.
" Why are the pharmaceutical companies charging EUR 1,800 for the cancer drug Glivec in Great Britain, but EUR 2,800 here? In any case, such price differences are not covered by the innovation argument, ”said Schlenker. The manufacturers' price monopoly must be put into perspective. The top 20 drugs account for around 20 percent or 700 million euros of the around 3.7 billion euros in drug costs for Barmer GEK in 2009.
In first and second place are two new rheumatic drugs with leaps in expenditure 20 to 25 percent compared to the previous year. In third to fifth place are drugs against multiple sclerosis with an increase in expenditure of twelve to 24 percent. For the leading cancer drug Glivec, eighth place at Barmer GEK, an increase in expenditure of 17 percent was recorded.