March 16, 2015 | By Márcio Barra
Luis Portela, the non-executive chairman of Bial Laboratories (a Portuguese pharmaceutical company responsible for the development and commercialization of Zebinix) in an interview at Rádio Renascença, said that drug prices in Portugal are, on average, among the lowest in Europe, mirroring the prices practiced in Slovenia and Estonia.
“The average price of drugs in Portugal is around 10.09 euros. Of course there are drugs that are more expensive, but Portugal has prices at the same level as those from Slovakia and Estonia. Portugal´s prices are among the cheapest prices in Europe and on average fell 30% in the last three to four years, “said Luis Portela.
When discussing the recent price reduction of Gilead´s controversial hepatitis C drug Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) in Portugal, Luis Portela stated that increasing price cuts hurt innovation, especially when taking into account that there are only 25 institutions in Europe creating new medicines.
This statement echo previous comments by Luis Portela regarding the effect of drug price cuts in Portugal and how they are hurting pharmaceutical companies, including Bial. Luis Portela mentioned in 2013 that Bial had to postpone the development of a new Parkinson´s Disease drug due to budget constraints.
Portugal drug prices are revised yearly. This year pricing revision will be made by referencing the values practiced in Slovenia, Spain and France.