Faster HZZO drug list would save healthcare system another billion

April 17, 2022 – The much faster and more efficient listing of HZZO drugs could end up saving the already weakened Croatian healthcare system another billion kunas.

Like Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak wrote, the Croatian healthcare system could save an additional 1 billion kuna a year if the policy of listing generic and biologically similar drugs on the lists of the Croatian Health Insurance Institute (HZZO) was improved and accelerated, according to the Croatian generic pharmaceutical companies within the Croatian Association of Employers (HUP).

Currently, the system saves about 300 million kuna per year through the use of this drug HZZO, but the potential is much higher, said Jerko Jaksic, president of the Association of Drug Manufacturers at HUP, during a briefing for journalists which took place on Thursday. .

According to data from 2019, 61% of the volume of prescription drugs in the Republic of Croatia are generic drugs, which is slightly below the EU average of 67%. The situation for biosimilars is much worse, they only accounted for a modest 13% of the total biologics consumption market.

Although further growth is expected in the coming years, in addition to education, there is a need to accelerate their application upon registration with the European Medicines Agency and the Croatian Medicines Agency.

As the manufacturers have explained, the HZZO procedure for registering a drug, which is purely administrative and administrative, takes an average of four to six months, during which time money is directly lost which could be saved by using a generic treatment instead of an innovative treatment.

“The so-called penetration of drugs into the system should be much faster, which is even more important when it comes to biologic drugs, because biologic drugs are very expensive. We have announcements from the Croatian Health Insurance Fund that this process could be accelerated, and we are very happy about that. There’s no reason why a drug shouldn’t automatically be on the list immediately after registration, and it would be great if the new procedure comes to life by the middle of this year, because patents for some drugs expire soon,’ Jaksic said. .

In particular, these are drugs related to diabetes, and the potential savings are 30% for the health system, with the release of patient participation. With proper application, in 2023, 15% more patients could be treated for the same cost in this segment alone, HUP pointed out. The data also shows that biosimilars have increased the availability of biologic therapy.

For example, in the immunology segment, 67% more patients were treated for only 19% more. In 2021, 2.5 times more patients were treated with the chemotherapy-mitigating drug than in 2019 for about the same total cost. In 2020 alone, biosimilars saved 200 million kuna. However, the biggest shortcoming of drug policy in Croatia remains poor cost control, due to insufficient treatment guidelines and measurement of the effectiveness of therapies, they added from the HUP.

Patient registries only exist for a small number of diagnoses and an important role is played in them by patient associations, which thus fight for better availability of certain medicines, but for most patients and diagnoses, all treatment parameters are not systematically followed.

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