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German drug companies are criticised for not focusing on useful therapeutic areas

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h4938 (Published 15 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4938
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

A 2011 German law designed to lower prices of new innovative drugs has not been as successful as envisioned, as drug firms continue to focus efforts on marketing expensive new drugs with little or no added benefit compared with drugs already on the market, says the Innovation Report 2015,1 an annual study commissioned by Techniker Krankenkasse, Germany’s largest public health insurer.

Of the 20 new drugs introduced in 2012 and subsequently monitored during 2013 the only drug to receive the highest rating for showing “innovative therapeutic advances” was the cancer growth blocker vemurafenib, a treatment for melanoma. Of the remaining 19 drugs introduced in 2012 seven were rated …

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