The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Berset Calls for End of Health Reform Stalemate in Parliament

President Alain Berset and Health Minister have described the savings of 250 million francs in generic and copycat drugs as an "important step forward". However, they said that "steady reforms" are needed to curb the rising costs of healthcare. Several measures to address the increasing costs are pending in Parliament and require "more responsibility" from all parties. Berset reiterated that the Federal Council has done all it can under the current laws, but further projects have been rejected by Parliament, such as the reference price system for generics, which could have saved between 360 and 480 million francs. Berset also announced that a proposal to reduce distribution margins is expected to be presented to the Federal Council by the end of the year, which could save an additional 60 million francs. Thomas Christen, Deputy Director of the Federal Office of Public Health, also called on healthcare providers to inform patients of cheaper alternatives to original drugs. He said that proposals to no longer reimburse the cost of original drugs when there is an equivalent generic have been discussed and rejected in Parliament. Christen also said that the savings in generics and biosimilars will have no effect on the upcoming premium round, which is expected to increase premiums by between 6 and 9 percent. The reasons for the stronger cost increase include higher bureaucracy, unavailable cheap drugs, more psychotherapies, the implementation of the nursing initiative, and more people who are uncertain and have diffuse complaints.

©Keystone/SDA

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