On Wednesday December 27th 2017, Farmaindustria, together with the Ministries of Finance and Public Administration, and Health, Social Services and Equality, signed the renewal of the Collaboration Agreement for 2018. This Agreement was first agreed upon in December 2016 and continued from the Protocol signed back in November of 2015, the main objective of guaranteeing the public access to therapeutic innovations under equitable conditions and guaranteeing the sustainability of the National Health System. The signing was carried out by Ministers Cristóbal Montoro and Dolors Montserrat and the President of Farmaindustria, Jesús Acebillo, in a ceremony held at the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality headquarters in Madrid.
The Agreement reconciles the rationalisation of public expenditure from an efficiency and compliance point of view, with the commitments of the pharmaceutical industry providing the System with the best and most advanced resources available. In this sense, the renovation of the Agreement responds to the fulfillment of these objectives and to the climate of dialogue and collaboration that the Government and Farmaindustria have been maintaining throughout the last couple of years.
Basically, the Agreement helps to create confidence in companies in the sector, in the face of uncertainties that put past payments at risk. In this sense, the Agreement rests on the policy of payment to suppliers, with which it is guaranteed that the health and pharmaceutical bills will be paid. Likewise, it contemplates that, if the growth of public expenditure on original medicines exceeds that of the Spanish economy, that is, GDP, the industry is committed to making monetary compensations.
The Agreement, which is also a solid guarantee for patients, health professionals and managers to have the most innovative and appropriate pharmacological treatments, recognizes the value of innovation, commits the Administration and the pharmaceutical industry to a more structural policy in the face of short-term approaches and shows the possibilities of a public-private collaboration in the search for innovative solutions.
The Minister of Finance and Public Administration, Cristóbal Montoro, stressed that, “this Agreement provides solidity to the System, strength to the companies in the sector and health and welfare benefits to the millions of people who use public health each year”.
The Minister of Health, Social Services and Equality, Dolors Monserrat, has indicated that this Agreement is, “another example of the Government working every day, together with the pharmaceutical industry, to incorporate into the public service portfolio, new treatments that show their efficiency and ensure patient safety”
Dolors Montserrat has thus stressed that the Agreement allows “patients streamlined access to new medicines under equal conditions.” The Minister added that this will allow us to continue increasing the list of innovative treatments incorporated into the public services portfolio, which since 2012 has already accumulated more than 240.
The president of Farmaindustria, Jesús Acebillo, has highlighted the effort involved for a purely innovative sector, such as the pharmaceutical industry, to commit not to grow above the general economy, but has underlined the value of the stability framework that implies, “especially valuable for an industry that works in the long term and that is based on large investments with a high risk profile”. “In any case, this Agreement is the best proof of the firm commitment of our sector to patients and society, as well as to the sustainability of our health system.”
Key aspects of the Agreement
This Agreement constitutes a valuable instrument to ensure patient access to innovation in medicines while guaranteeing the sustainability of the National Health System and compliance with public deficit objectives. These are the key points:
- The Agreement, available to anyone interested is on the Farmaindustria website, has the power to become an instrument of budgetary control for the Administration.
- It implies the commitment on the part of the pharmaceutical industry represented by Farmaindustria to compensate the National Health System if the growth of public expenditure on medicines exceeds that of GDP.
- The Agreement does not address aspects related to competition between brand and generic medicines, nor does it establish any obligation in this regard to any public administration.