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The Outlook for Pharmaceuticals in Central & Eastern Europe
Date:12/13/2012

cially in Russia, due to the tradition of self-medication which has encouraged companies to produce pharmaceuticals with recognisable names and the erroneous belief that pure generics are unsafe.

Different IP protection levels

Much of the pharmaceutical legislation within the region has been harmonised with that of the EU. However, the level of IP protection remains an international concern. Problems that are commonly raised include a lack of transparency in IP procedures and the lack of effective enforcement.

Health Expenditure

The countries of Central & Eastern Europe are projected to spend an estimated US$335.9 billion on healthcare in 2016, equal to 6.8% of GDP. At present, only 39.6% of spending in the region is private, but over 87.0% of this is composed of out-of-pocket payments. Several countries in the region are taking steps to reduce the growth of health expenditure, by passing on a greater proportion of costs to patients, and in some cases to pharmaceutical companies. For instance, in Poland, new legislation coming into force in January 2012 will limit drug reimbursement expenditure to 17% of total public healthcare spending, introduce fixed retail prices for reimbursed medicines and force pharmaceutical companies to cover 50% of any reimbursement overspend.

In Hungary, drug manufacturers have been required to contribute a percentage of their turnover to the Health Insurance Fund since 2004. Additionally, the Romanian Health Insurance House (CNAS) has approved a new method of calculating reimbursement for partially reimbursed prescription-only drugs, which could lead to patients paying on average 40% more for their medication, and the Czech government is preparing a number of healthcare reforms that could see patients pay almost US$900 million more for their medicines every year. There are widespread concerns that many patients will not be able to afford to spend more on pharmaceuticals and certain pieces of legi
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