March 25, 2013 | By Márcio Barra
Paulo Macedo, speaking this last friday at the closing session of the symposium celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Surgery Center cardiothoracic (CCC) of Coimbra’s Hospital and University Center (CHUC), spoke of the benefits the ongoing drug price cuts are bringing to the population.
“If we didn’t have cheaper drugs, we would have people with lots of difficulties” and that the “national interests (…) are not secured by favoring the international pharmaceutical industry, that is for sure”, said the Health Minister
“Having lower price drugs for the population” is one of the ways of securing the nation’s interests stated the minister.
He stressed however that “we cannot go down to certain levels, where the access to innovation is jeopardized.”
This comes as a response to Bial’s CEO Luís Portela declarations that the successive drug price cuts are hurting pharmaceutical companies, including Bial, a national pharmaceutical company, who had to postpone for two year the start of a project for a new drug for Parkinson. While the minister’s comments may indicate that there is a certain threshold where the current drug cost containment policy will stop, Luis Portela’s previous statements back in February indicate that at least the national pharmaceutical industry is being hurt bad, and having troubles pursuing innovation.