Madrid, December 21st 2016. – Farmaindustria accepts and respects the decision of the Spanish Constitutional Court in the dispute about competences initiated in 2012 regarding the so-called medicines tenders. However, the critical position which Farmaindustria has upheld during these years concerning the Andalusian medicines tenders goes beyond this dispute. There are plenty of reasons which demonstrate that tenders are not an appropriate solution for a pharmaceutical policy which should always operate with a long term and structural vision.
Firstly, because of the risks associated with selecting a single pharmaceutical company as a provider. As experience has already demonstrated during these 4 years of tenders in Andalusia, there were many occasions in which the awarded companies did not fulfill their supply obligations. The latter brings about medicine shortages which are overcome by resorting to medicines from different companies which operate on the Spanish territory. Likewise, it highlights the risk taken when granting a single company the supply of a product as sensitive as medicines, and the lack of precautionary measures taken which assure the complete compliance of the supplying requirements.
Additionally, tenders generate inequities with regards to the access to pharmaceutical provision in the Spanish National Healthcare System (SNS) since, when a medicine is prescribed by INN, patients in Andalusia do not have the chance to choose (as it is the case in other Spanish Regions), among all medicines which share the lowest price. They also hinder access to their usual treatment to many patients who must move to Andalusia.
Fragmentation of the pharmaceutical market
Tenders in Andalusia, finally, cause a breakdown within the pharmaceutical market’s unity within the context of the SNS, since they effectively exclude medicines which are not selected for a period of two years. The international experience in the few countries where medicines tenders are applied, shows a reduction in the number of competitors and a progressive de-localization of manufacturing plants in the medium term.
Farmaindustria defends a common pharmaceutical policy for the whole of the SNS in the long term, coordinated by the Ministry of Health, through dialogue with all healthcare administrations and always respecting their respective competences and individual decisions made by companies. Hence, it will be possible to apply solutions within the framework of the currently in force national legislation which allows to combine the sustainability of the Spanish healthcare system with access in conditions of equity and quality for patients.