KEFEA: In danger of medicinal products being withdrawn

March 12, 2015

The Cyprus Association of Research and Development Pharmaceutical Companies (KEFEA) is concerned about the Minister of Health’s decision to proceed with a further 8.5% horizontal price cut on private sector medicines. This latest, one-sided measure may create problems in regards to the uninterrupted availability of medicines in the Cypriot market.

KEFEA has also expressed these concerns in writing to the Minister of Health with a letter that specified, among others: “Regarding your expressed intention to proceed with an added general price reduction in the range of 8.5%, we feel it is our duty to inform you that such a decision may potentially create problems in the uninterrupted availability of medicines in the Cypriot market. As also stressed in the study by the World Health Organisation, it is important to ensure this will not have a spill-over effect in other countries that reference the Cypriot prices, which could jeopardise availability of these products in Cyprus.”

Furthermore, KEFEA has informed the Ministry of Health that its member companies cannot commit, nor ensure, that further price reductions on wholesale prices would not lead to the withdrawal of medicinal products, which would in turn jeopardise patients’ uninterrupted access to their medicines. We note that this reduction is in addition to the very recent 5% cut that was achieved with the price revision, which means an overall decrease of 20% in the space of two years; in a private market that is constantly shrinking in size.

In acknowledgement of the particular economic situation Cyprus is currently in, KEFEA submitted a specific proposal for the expensive country to be removed from the basket of reference countries and for prices to be determined based on two average and two cheap countries. This could lead to significant reductions on the medicines’ wholesale prices, thus limiting the chances of products being withdrawn from the market. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Health did not take this proposal into consideration.

KEFEA represents the research and development pharmaceutical companies in Cyprus and is a member of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).