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Parliamentary questions
25 April 2018
E-000472/2018
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission

According to Article 168.7 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU(1), the management of the health systems is under the control of the national authorities. The Commission supports national policy and measures aiming at improving the cost effectiveness of health expenditure. Policies such as rebates and clawbacks give the authorities a tool to control expenditures while ensuring citizens' access to healthcare and are among the instruments at the disposal of the national governments. Typically, these should be supplemented by other structural reforms, including both demand-side and supply-side policies. Many were implemented so far, but often these measures deliver results in terms of lower excess spending later in time. The government has also committed to undertake additional measures before the end of the European Stability Support programme(2).

Clawback mechanisms are a temporary solution accompanied by other structural reforms such as promoting the rational use of medicines, reinforced negotiation of pharmaceutical prices, development of Health Technology Assessment, introduction of protocols and increased use of generics, reform of public procurement to increase competition and reduce prices.

The Commission believes that a constructive exchange between the Greek authorities and stakeholders could gradually lead to a more transparent and inclusive political solution acceptable to all parties.

Concerning the specific problem of shortages of medicines, the Commission is collaborating with the Member States and other stakeholders in order to facilitate sharing of best practices between the Member States with view to assuring continuous supply of medicines through effective implementation of the pharmaceutical legislation(3).

(1)http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A12012E%2FTXT
(2)https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/economy-finance/draft_smou_3rd_review.pdf , p.16
(3)Article 81 of Directive 2001/83/EC.

Last updated: 26 April 2018Legal notice