Medicines still cost significantly more in Switzerland than in neighboring countries. You have to pay double the price for generics. With the strengthening of the franc, drugs in Switzerland have become even more expensive last year than abroad.
This is the result of a joint price comparison of the foreign health insurance companies Santésuisse and Interpharma, an interest group of Swiss pharmaceutical research companies, which was presented on Tuesday in Bern.
250 original preparations protected by a patent, included in the list of specialties with the highest sales, were abroad on average by 8.8%. cheaper than Switzerland, based on the exchange rate of 1.07 francs per euro used by the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG).
They make up the lion’s share of all medications consumed in the outpatient sector. The greater price difference compared to the previous year (6.9%) is due to changes in exchange rates.
The biggest price difference for generics
Original patent expired products cost 15.4% abroad. less than in Switzerland. The biggest price differences concern generics, i.e. imitations of products with active ingredients from the original preparation. In comparative European countries they are on average by 48.4 percent. cheaper than in Switzerland, which means that the price difference has increased by almost 5%. compared to the previous year.
The price differences of the so-called biosimilar drugs, generic biologically produced drugs. They are on average 33.5 percent. cheaper abroad than in Switzerland.
Interpharma Managing Director René Buholzer does not see drugs as a cost factor in the healthcare system. For years, they only accounted for 12% of the total cost volume, according to a statement by Interpharma and Santésuisse.
According to Buholzer, the delay in entering innovative drugs into the list of specialties is more expensive for patients. There is an urgent need for action.
Hundreds of millions of francs
According to Santésuisse vice president Christoph Kilchenmann, drug prices have a direct impact on health insurance premiums. In the case of drugs protected by patents, this is about 300 million francs more than in the compared countries, and 350 million francs for generics and biosimilars. Kilchenmann blames parliament for not changing the situation.
In the 13th foreign price comparison, ex-factory prices in Switzerland were compared with those in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Austria and Sweden also for original preparations protected by patents and which have expired. as generics and biosimilars.
Swiss prices in April 2022 for patent-protected preparations were compared with prices in February 2022 for expired original products, generics and biosimilars (SDA)