Tsai Ing-Wen, the presidential candidate for DPP, said on the 15th that drug price surveys (PV survey) have resulted in the falling of drug prices stage by stage. After years of implementation of PV surveys, some IV infusions are now cheaper than bottled water. Tsai intends to set a floor price for drugs to prevent “sweatshop price”. The implementation of PV surveys should be thoroughly reviewed, said Tsai.
Tsai Ing-Wen expressed that the biotech industry and the pharmaceutical industry are the most important industries in the 21st Century. Both industries have great potential for development. The industries’ output has been on a rise. In 2013, the pharmaceutical industry output reached N$83 billion in Taiwan. This outstanding performance is due to the industry’s diligence and efforts.
The pharmaceutical manufacturers in Taiwan have pushed themselves very hard to advance and to keep bringing quality drugs to patients. They are the unsung heroes behind the success of the NHI in Taiwan. Yet, despite the fact that 75% of the prescriptions are generic drugs, they only account for 23% of total drug expenditure.
Tsai Ing-Wen mentioned that the implementation of the PIC/S GMP early this year has caused some degrees of impact on drug manufacturers, especially on small and medium manufacturers which do not have enough capital to upgrade their equipment and procedures. However, it is an opportunity to promote the industry.
Tsai expressed that, if she is elected, her government will invest more resources and work more closely with pharmaceutical associations to help manufacturers to meet this standard in order to improve the industry’s competitiveness, as well as to protect the nation’s medication quality. However, at the same time, it is as important to ensure that drug manufacturers can have reasonable profits. The government should not demand the industry of quality, while ignoring the issues of drug prices.
Tsai Ing-Wen expressed that the current drug price policy for generics, including the so-called “three-identical policy”, is quite complicated as it involves foreign negotiations. Her government’s drug price policy will cover this issue. Basically, it will guarantee manufacturers with reasonable profits. It means that the government will have to consider the NHI finance, manufacturers’ reasonable profits and foreign negotiations at the same time. Tsai promises that a reasonable drug price will be in place if she is in office.
【2015-12-21 / CTS News】