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Measures to cut Germany’s drugs bill start to take effect

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 19 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5999
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

Germany’s public health insurers spent only 1% more on prescription drugs in 2010 than in the previous year, stemming a four year trend of sharp rises, a new annual study of German drug costs shows. But they are still paying much more than the United Kingdom is for top selling branded and generic drugs.

Ulrich Schwabe, coeditor of the annual Prescription Drug Report and professor emeritus of pharmacology at the University of Heidelberg, told the BMJ that recent measures to slow the rises in prices of patent protected drugs are beginning to take effect. “I would assume that total [drug] spending in 2011 will go down,” he said.

In 2010 Germany’s public health insurers spent €32bn (£20bn; $44bn) on …

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