HEALTH INSURANCES DECIDE TO KEEP UP 'ODD PAYMENTS'
FRANKFURT, Germany, March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Association of the German Pharmaceutical Industry (BPI) criticized the repeated refusal of the umbrella organizations of the statutory health insurances to adjust the fixed amounts for medicinal products to the VAT increase from 14 percent to 15 percent. In the opinion of BPI this attitude was "incomprehensible." Consequently "odd" co-payments (on average 36 pfennigs) are to be made for a large number of medicinal products. They have to be paid by the insured in addition to the standard self- participation of DM 3, DM 5 or DM 7, respectively. What the statutory health insurances hold back from the insured is that the insistence on the old fixed amounts now results in additional co-payments for 23 percent of all drugs covered by fixed amounts as compared with 6 percent prior to the VAT increase. The effects of these co-payments are not cushioned by the provisions on cases of hardship and financial overstrain. From the viewpoint of BPI it was obvious that when revising the fixed amounts the health insurances perfectly ignored the fact that the VAT increase raised drug prices on all levels, i.e. also below the fixed amounts. This should have been taken into account in an adjustment process. BPI stressed that the adjustment of fixed amounts -- that include VAT -- would already have been necessary for the simple reason that VAT was a transitory account item for manufacturers, wholesalers and pharmacists. It was emphasized that VAT was determined by the government, paid by the end consumer and directly benefited the federal minister of finance. -0- 3/3/93 /CONTACT: Thomas Postina of the Association of the German Pharmaceutical Industry, in Frankfurt, 49-69-2556-1261/
CO: Association of the German Pharmaceutical Industry ST: IN: INS MTC SU:
PS -- NY011 -- 2301 03/03/93 09:02 EST