Before the new year caused the death of His Knudsens blood pressure medication 230 crowns. But when he had to buy the new pills after the new year, costing the package of 100 tablets suddenly 639 dollars. That's almost a tripling.
- I under the drug companies a reasonable profit, but this is simply indecent, " says Hans Knudsen at 55 years old from Skovlunde.
Both he and his wife have for many years used the same type of blood pressure medication and remember that the price has been right around 100 dollars.
- When they are able to earn money on selling it for around 100 dollars, so it is a gross exploitation of people in need of medication suddenly seksdoble the price, believe His.
Both Hans Knudsen and his wife using the blood pressure medication, which has risen over 400 dollars after the new year. Photo: Ole Steen
Losartan, which is the blood pressure medication, paired use, is one of the ten most sold preparations in pharmacies. According to medinpriser.dk is a package gone from that cost under 50 dollars to 230 dollars in november and now 639 crowns after the new year.
- It is the medication, you have to have, so you actually have no other options as a consumer. I can imagine that there are families, where it tumbles over the budget, " says Hans Knudsen.
Hans Knudsen's experience is far from unique.
For example, the price for a big package migrænemedicin from 80 to 558 dollars in the month of august.
About the same time increased the analgesic drug Abstral with 30 tablets from 24 dollars to 2.766, while a remedy for psychoses increased from 75 million to 2.035 and a fortrydelsespille from 161 € to 3.580.
- It can have serious consequences for people's budgets and health when they experience the drastic price spikes in their medication, says Morten Freil, director of the Danish Patients.
- We see and hear, that the volatility of prices means that some patients opt out of vital medicines in a period. Particularly those with a low income are at the pharmacy and are considering whether they should spend the money on expensive drugs, or whether they should use them to get the rest of the budget to run around and then wait and see if the price drops again, he says.
How to see the life-saving packet of pills out, which right now costs the couple from Skovlunde total of 818 dollars extra. Photo: Ole Steen
The large price fluctuations caused by the way in which manufacturers sell their medicines to pharmacies. They are in free competition, and it means that the prices one week can increase by many hundred percent and fall just as drastically back again a few weeks later.
- We are aware that turn blocks the markets competition generally ensure low prices, and it is really good, but there is the serious side effect of the system, that prices sometimes rise drastically, which has major personal consequences for patients, and we need to try to rectify, believes the director of the Danish Patients, Morten Freil.
Previously Berlingske written, how the price of more than 1000 medicines increased by 100 percent or more in 2019, while an analysis of data from the DR have shown that every tenth drug of last year was twice as expensive from one day to the other.
Why do the price of your medicine?
The major fluctuations in price is due to the way in which pharmaceutical companies sell their medicines to pharmacies. It is namely through aktionsrunder every other week.
On the akutionsrunderne tells the producers the Danish medicines agency, what price they want for each preparation. The cheapest wins the right to be recommended of pharmacies gets 70 percent of sales, until the next auction 14 days later.
the pharmaceutical companies can see each others ' prices and respond to then. And it is not always appropriate, according to the Danish Competition and Consumer authority.
the Agency has spotted a pattern, where companies in some time competing on price, which therefore falls over a period of time. Then put the all together at the same time the price strongly up - it will say that all medications with similar effect to rise sharply in price at the same time. The consumer is thus without the possibility to choose other cheaper alternatives, and it can take years before the price dropped to the original level.
the Consumer brands also price differences due to the way the subsidy for the medication varies in the course of the year.
the Grant will increase in line with how much medication you purchase. At the same time the calculated allowance for one year at a time. This means that the medicine costs more in the beginning of the tilskudsåret, where you bought a little medicine, because the grant is less, while the subsidy is increased at the year-end, and therefore, the price seem lower.Show more Close industry association: - Regulate the grant
- I put the question whether the examples (ed. large fluctuations) is representative of the general medicinmarked in the country. In general, we have very low prices on common drugs and rarely have the medicinmangel, as we have seen in many other places, says Peter Jørgensen, director in the Industriforeningen for Generics and biosimilars.
- Individuals may find that their preparations increases or decreases from time to time, and it is not to annoy people, that it happens. It is an expression of the very fierce competition, there is on the market, he says.
I acknowledge that there have been cited examples, where the price is also more than doubled, and that the volatility can hit the vulnerable sections of the population, and I think that is a political responsibility to rectify. I think just do not, it is the right way to go to intervene with legislative changes in relation to the market, says Peter Jørgensen.
- There are often large international companies, which is not really required to deliver the medicine to the Danish market, so it is dangerous to make the market more cumbersome and thus less attractive.
Hans Knudsens blood pressure medication increased from 230 dollars for 639 dollars over the new year. Photo: Ole Steen
Peter Jørgensen therefore proposes instead that politicians 'should refine the grant scheme', so as to take better account of the less well-off.
- It will first and foremost go out to the patients, if there be a headless political decision, because the politicians might have a hard time standing in goal for the individual cases that come forward in the press, but at the same time, it is difficult to adapt to the grant regime, he says.
Minister: It provokes me
Several parties and the health Minister, Magnus Heunicke, has proclaimed that the large price spikes on the medication should be stopped.
- Just to say it is very clear to importers and producers; one should not think that you can continue with a pricing policy, which takes advantage of the monopolies at the expense of sick people, says Magnus Heunicke among other things, to Ekstra Bladet.
Magnus Heunicke, Health and Ældreminister, has called the price increases on the medicine for a 'matter of urgency', but so far continue price fluctuations in medicine in 2020. Photo: Jonas Olufson
- We now have so many indications that suggest that there are far greater fluctuations and more frequent fluctuations than in the past. And that it is a growing problem not only in Denmark but throughout the EU. I am therefore working both in an international and national track.
- My european colleagues and I have reversed the situation and is now awaiting the commission, which, in the course of the year will come up with solutions. At home, I have held meetings with industry, pharmacies, government agencies and so on, where there are come different inputs that we now work with.
- I am still a supporter of, but what we need to be sure before we decide, what we do, it is that we do it right. We can see that there are certain parts of the industry that has an unethical policy, and we will not risk creating more problems in the form of, for example, medicinmangel, because we take hasty and wrong decisions.
- the Challenge is right now, that the ceiling for patient fees is an annual based ceiling, and it can be a daunting large printing for a consumer, if the amount to be paid at once or in the course of the year's first two months. So we're working on, how the cost can be spread out.
- When it is said, I know the industry point of view, but it is indeed a mistake in the market, that companies can have a monopoly for short periods of time, which they can use to knock the price of the weather. It is far beyond what, I believe, is morally defensible to our medicinkøbere. It is important, therefore, to industry marks a clear contrast. We do not accept an unethical prispolitk, and I say directly to them that 'we will not be ignored'. Are we ready to take action - not to remove them from the market, but for that they need to behave properly.
- We should not be routed around by an industry that exploits the monopolies and multiply the price. The part of the industry, working irresponsible, do not see a minister, who supports unethical behavior, 'just' to go in and cover the high fluctuations. It provokes me. The way of playing we not.
- I calls for ethics in their pricing policies. And if not, they can even deliver it, so we must make sure that they do.