Country Report: Czech Republic - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Country Report: Czech Republic

Pharmaceutical Executive


Mismanaged funds?


From Czech foundations
Zörner's counterpart Jakub Dvořáĉek, executive director of the local innovator association Asociace Inovativného Farmaceutického Průmyslu (AIFP), is convinced that the Czech healthcare system is adequately funded—in fact, according to Dvořáĉek, even as neighbors like Hungary have approved severe cutbacks, the Czech Republic maintained a stable rate of healthcare investment as a proportion of GDP. In a challenging global climate, Dvořáĉek posits, "the fact that we have the same budget today as we did in prosperous years like 2008 is a success."


Jakub Dvořáĉek, Executive Director, AIFP
"If we look at the amount of money that flows into healthcare in this country, I believe that it is enough—it is enough to have a very strong standard of care for all citizens." Dvořáĉek pauses. "But we need to use our resources better, in all segments of the system."


Jerome Silvestre, President, Zentiva
Part of the agenda of the AIFP is to create a more fair-and-balanced approach to value assessment and budget allocation. Dvořáĉek notes that the other 'eaters' in the budget seem to get a disproportionate share of the pie. AIFP member Luboš Chadim, general manager of Astellas CR, extrapolates: "If we look at the situation fairly, we see that pharmaceuticals are always touched when it comes to cost-cutting measures. Equipment, for instance, has never been a real focus for cost reduction."


Luboš Chadim, General Manager, Astellas CR
Czech Health Minister Leoš Heger confirms that, indeed, additional funds are not forthcoming in the budget. Given the global financial crisis, the Czech Republic will have to contend with the same stable—but nonetheless relatively small—proportion of GDP going to healthcare (7.8%) that it has seen throughout recent memory. And yet Heger, along with SUKL Director Pavel Březovký, have pledged to find greater efficiencies in the system.


Jane Kidd, Managing Director, Janssen CR
"We are not in heaven," Březovký observes wryly, "and we cannot satisfy all budget concerns. The prices in the drug market are those that we can manage given our current healthcare resources—we must be able to afford new drugs, and drugs for special cases, and etc. However, we are improving the system. For instance, medical devices do not currently receive enough regulation and oversight. We aim to apply the same structure for registration, life cycle, and reimbursement to medical devices as we have for drugs."


Michaela Hrdliĉková, Country Manager, Biogen Idec CR
In general, Minister Heger promises to realize greater balance through the injection of technology into the system. Measures like the introduction of E-health, and the further development of Health Technology Assessment, will provide an objective data set that will—theoretically—be able to better guide the authorities in the allocation of resources to the parts of the market that need them most.


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