New IRP rule introduced in Greece

International Reference Pricing (IRP) is constantly under the spotlight as an effective mechanism to regulate the prices of medical products. In the USA there was a concern to implement IRP in an effort to try and constrain the increased prices of drugs in its market. Most recently Greece passed a bill introducing a smaller basket of countries for the IRP mechanism used. Specifically, the new IRP rule will reference the two lowest prices in the Eurozone. Furthermore, a 10% annual discount will be applied until the price is equal to the average of the two lowest.

On the other hand, if the medicine is priced lower than the two lowest prices in Eurozone a 10% annual increase in its price will be applied.  The above rule will apply to on-patent, off-patent and biosimilar medicines. Finally, on the same legislation, one annual price revision was agreed.

The impact could be significant both internally and externally.

Internally – So far, for 1,802 drug codes the price decreased and increased for 1,774

Externally – Greece decreased its basket by 9 countries, and 27 countries are including Greece in their current referencing basket. The new Eurozone basket is isolating effects on prices from events such as Brexit and fluctuations in the currency conversion that potentially could increase significantly the prices of medicines and, in turn, the co-payment contribution.

By Alexandros Soumalevris