NewsLocalSpending on medicines skyrockets after Cyprus rolls out Gesy

Spending on medicines skyrockets after Cyprus rolls out Gesy

Cyprus’ Health Insurance Organisation is paying up to 1,600% higher prices on certain medicines and medical consumables than the pre-General Health System era. Gesy was first rolled out in March 2019.

Philenews also reports that the House Audit Committee on Thursday  debated for hours the huge difference between prices following a report by the Audit Office for the year 2020.

Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides, who was taking part in the debate, referred to many such examples and focused on one specific medicine which was purchased for €0.44 before the Gesy and is now priced at €7.

Health Minister Popi Kanari expressed surprise at the huge difference and said: “The Ministry buys medicines to meet the needs of 600,000 beneficiaries, while the HIO covers 950,000. Therefore, the prices secured by the HIO should be lower since the quantity is negotiated.”

She added: “We are surprised that the prices are not lower.”

A high-ranking Ministry officer went as far as to say that – before Gesy – they would drive a hard bargain when negotiating drug prices. This no longer appears to be the case, she added.

Countering the criticism, HIO officials explained that Gesy patients now have more than one choice per drug category as was the case in the past.  That is, when the Ministry of Health was providing drugs for state hospitals.

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