Slovakia mulls changes to increase innovative treatment availability

The Slovak Health Ministry prepared a draft law under which the costs of majority of innovative drugs would be automatically covered from the public health insurance system, with local public health insurance providers no longer having to approve innovative treatments for their patients on a case-by-case basis.

The Ministry said that it proposed to increase the financial threshold used during the categorisation process to decide on whether a given drug will be included in the reimbursement list from 24 times to 41 times the average salary, which is supposed to increase access to innovative drugs for local patients. It is expected that additional €120 million a year will be spent on patient treatment from public resources as the result of the move.

With regard to drugs that are registered in Slovakia, but will remain outside the list of categorised medicines, the treatment will be covered in 70-90% from public resources, depending on how long the medicine is present on the Slovak market. The remaining part will be offset by marketing authorisation holders, which will also be expected to provide discounts on those innovative drugs that will still be available to patients based on the individual decisions of public health insurance providers.