This week, through communication mediums, we became aware that the government obligates the autonomous communities to solicit financial support from the Autonomous Liquidation Fund (ALF) and sign an agreement that guarantees minimum annual public spending on brand name drugs from Farmaindustria, pharmaceutical management.
This agreement is implemented by the Ministries of Finance and Health. For this reason, we have a mailed a letter to the Minister of Health, Dolors Montserrat and the Minister of Finance, Cristobal Montoro, to show our disagreement with this covenant and to ask them to remove it from the ALF requirements. “We believe that this a pressure tactic to maintain high spending on medicines protected by patents—with extremely elevated prices—and an enormous budgetary impact.”
We also criticize the fact that this measure includes shielding of brand-name medicines, drugs on which there is no transparency in the process of fixing prices, research, development and marketing, and whose lack of transparency impedes knowing how much taxpayers contribute for the treatments. “We want to show that forcing spending on certain drugs violates the independence of the autonomous communities, and penalizing them is a measure that weakens them against the pharmaceutical industry.”
For this reason, we also call on Ministers Montoro and Montserrat to review the function of the Interministerial Price Fixing Commission in order to end the lack of transparency in its management and decision-making processes, including the participation and decisions of the autonomous communities. Likewise, we ask them to strengthen accountability and transparency in pharmaceutical spending, so that the expenditure of the Administration is known. And finally, that we eliminate the confidentiality clauses, which today prevent the real price of medicines, from the agreements between the administrations and industry.
You may read the letter here.
Photo: The Minister of Finance and Public Administration, Cristobal Montoro, at the press conference of the Council of the Ministry. (La Moncloa – Spanish Government)