Germany's New Pricing Policy Loses Appeal with Pharma - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Germany's New Pricing Policy Loses Appeal with Pharma

Pharmaceutical Technology

Nevertheless, pharmaceutical companies have too much at stake to suddenly downgrade their operations in Germany and are hoping that pressure from industry associations and other stakeholders will lead to constructive dialogue with the authorities. Even Eli Lilly’s CEO was reported to have met with German officials to determine whether there was room for compromise. In addition, the pharmaceutical industry cannot ignore the fact that some companies have had positive experiences with the new German system. For example, in 2011, AstraZeneca’s Brilique (ticagrelor), for the treatment of acute coronary syndromes, was considered by the G-BA to have demonstrated an “important additional benefit” (7). This helped give AstraZeneca an important commercial boost for their drug which was predicted to be a rival to Sanofi’s top-selling Plavix (clopidogrel). Similarly, IQWiG was quite complimentary when it assessed BMS’s melanoma treatment Yervoy (ipilimumab), stating that it offered “considerable added benefit” (8).

In its first year of operation, the German government may have been trying to make a point to the pharmaceutical industry by taking a tough stance on pricing. However, over time, it may be forced to introduce some flexibility into the system to appease companies, particularly as the pharmaceutical sector remains an important contributor to the country’s economy. We will wait and see what 2013 brings.


1. Reuters website, “Germany Joins UK in Spurning GSK’s New Lupus Drug,”, accessed 14 Nov., 2012.

2. IQWiG website, “Added Benefit of Fampridine is Not Proven,”., accessed 14 Nov., 2012.

3. Scrip Intelligence website, “Intermune’s Orphan Esbriet Escapes Reference Pricing in Germany,”, accessed 14 Nov., 2012.

4. IQWiG website, “Pirfenidone: Extent of Added Benefit,”, accessed 14 Nov., 2012.

5. IQWiG website,“Tafamidis: Approval Denotes Proven Added Benefit,”, accessed 14 Nov., 2012.

6. EFPIA website, “EU Pharmaceutical Industry Leaders Call for Revision of German Model for Assessment of New Medicines,” http://www.efpia.euaccessed 14 Nov., 2012.

7. AstraZeneca website, “G-BA Issues Positive Final Medical Benefit Assessment for BRILIQUE in Germany,” accessed 14 Nov., 2012.

8. IQWiG website, “Considerable Added Benefit of Ipilimumab in Advanced Melanoma,” accessed 14 Nov., 2012.


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