Germany’s AOK announces discount agreements for 119 drugs

By Tom Brockbank, Senior Consultant, Pricing & Market Access

Germany’s major payer AOK announces discount agreements and drug manufacturer incentives to ensure a stable supply chain throughout the COVID-19 pandemic

AOK has announced two-year discount agreements for 119 drugs and an obligation for three-months’ stocks. The discounts will take effect for the 24th installment of the nationwide AOK drug discount Tender contracts.

AOK is providing incentives to drug manufacturers in order to guarantee the stable supply of critical drugs. Manufacturers will also be obligated from now on to permanently build up stocks of a three months’ supply. Only in the last quarter of the last year of the agreement, these stocks may be used up. In addition, AOK are also ensuring that neither its own production nor that of its suppliers endanger the health of employees or the environment. If these liability regulations are not met, there is a risk of losing the current contract immediately and jeopardizing their chances with regards to future tenders.

These are the first agreements since the law on “fair competition between statutory payers” (GKV-FKG) has come into effect in April. Under the law, payers must cover the extra costs for an alternative drug when no drug under a discount agreement is available. Pharmacists can supply the more expensive drugs to patients without asking physicians or payers when the discounted drug is not available.

The discount agreements over a sales volume of €2 billion a year in retail prices will be negotiated for the period from 1 June 2021 to 31 May 2023. For 22 of the 119 drugs, non-exclusive agreements will be concluded between AOK and two pharma companies each.

AOK is composed of 11 regional payers that have 27 million insures in total, which is a market share of 37% of Germany’s statutory health insurance GKV, according to the website of the federal AOK association.

GPI have experience in successfully supporting and managing drug manufactures’ Tender and Supply Chain operations. Through leveraging data from GPI PulseTM, we can understand, track and predict how drug prices will be affected as they enter tenders at the point of Loss of Exclusivity (LOE) in order to manage their price erosion.

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AOK Federal Association, 2020. Pharmaceutical Discount Agreements: AOK Sanctions Environmental Sins And Strengthens Delivery Security. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 22 July 2020].