Generic drugs are now two and a half times more expensive in Switzerland than in other European countries, according to the Swiss price watchdog.
Price supervisor Stefan Meierhans has demanded that parliament vote in favour of a proposal to introduce a reference price system, which he says could save CHF400 million ($437 million) a year.
The watchdog compared the prices of 20 patent-expired active ingredients with 15 reference countries. It found the average cost of generic drugs to be 165% higher in Switzerland – and 64% more expensive for patented drugs.
It costs five times more to treat a patient with the same drug in Switzerland than in the least expensive countries of Sweden, Denmark and Britain, said Meierhans in a newsletter published on Thursday.
In May, Santésuisse and Interpharma, the umbrella organisations for Swiss insurers and pharmaceutical research companies, also criticised the high price of medicines in Switzerland.
While their report acknowledged the impact of currency exchange rates on the comparative prices, it also called on lawmakers to introduce a reference price system.
More than 20 European countries already have such a system in place that bases insurance reimbursement payments for each active ingredient on the price of the cheapest available generic.
Source: Swiss Info