Doctors strongly opposed to secret pricing of drugs
Several in the pharmaceutical industry express concern about price increases and secrecy of the cost of pharmaceuticals in Norway.
– Public drug statistics become unreliable, people do not get insight into the companies’ pricing policies and no-one knows the real costs. It’s a chaos, says Steinar Madsen, Medical Director of the Medicines Agency to VG.
According to the newspaper, the cost of pharmaceuticals in Norway has increased by 25 per cent in three years.
– The price level is very high. There have always been some expensive products, but the development we are seeing now is unethical, says Asbjørn Mack of the Norwegian Cooperative Drug Purchasers.
Price discussions between Norwegian authorities and the industry is now stamped secret, following a new legislative amendment adopted by the Storting last year. Managing Director in the Pharmaceutical Industry, and former Minister for Labour, Karita Bekkemellem, supports the amendment.
– Confidential pricing agreements give Norwegian authorities the opportunity to negotiate a discount that other larger countries do not know about, she says.
Stein Sundstrøm, head of the Norwegian Oncology Association, says to the newspaper that the Norwegian Cancer Society is strongly opposed to secret prices.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today