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Parliamentary questions
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5 June 2018
Answer given by Ms Vestager on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-001125/2018

The agreement of 29 December 2016 between the pharmaceutical industry (Farmindustria) on the one hand and on the other the Spanish Ministries of Finance and Public Service and of Health, Social Services and Equality, is a state measure to control public expenditure on medicines. It caps the growth of Spanish public expenditure on originator (branded) medicines relative to the evolution of Spanish gross domestic product (GDP). This is an example of so-called ‘payback/clawback’ policies to prevent deficits in public budgets.

The agreement does not oblige the Autonomous Communities to purchase branded medicines. It only sets conditions in case sales of such medicines are higher or lower than a certain cap. In case the cap is not reached, the Monitoring Committee for the agreement (composed of representatives of the above Ministries, Farmaindustria and the Autonomous Communities adhering to the agreement) ‘may’ propose incentives under the framework of Royal Decree-Law 8/2010 (which among others envisages deductions to be applied by the industry on sales of medicines to the national health service). To date, to the Commission's understanding, no such measures have been proposed. Thus making financing from the Spanish Government's Autonomous Liquidity Fund contingent on acceptance of this agreement (by the Autonomous Communities) as such does not appear to create a barrier to entry for generic medicines or to raise concerns under EU competition rules.

Last updated: 6 June 2018Legal notice