The Swiss pay some of the highest high health insurance rates anywhere yet many medications remain twice as expensive in Switzerland than in neighbouring EU countries.
Generic, non-patented, medicines are on average 48 per cent cheaper in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Austria and Sweden than in Switzerland, according to a price comparison study (DE) released on Tuesday April 16th by private health insurance association santésuisse and pharmaceutical lobby Interpharma.
Generics represent 23 per cent of the market share. “More could be saved on generics,” said Verena Nold, director of santésuisse, in a statement. Nold suggested “hundreds of millions of francs” could be saved by patients through further subsidies for generics with the introduction of what is called a reference price system.
Health insurance companies and pharmaceutical firms did increase their contribution to patented medicines between 2017 and 2019, resulting in savings to patients of 325 million francs, according to René Buholzer, managing director of Interpharma.
Even the 250 patent-protected medications that were compared resulted on average 7 per cent cheaper in the nine EU countries than in Switzerland.
Patent-pending original preparations were on average 14 per cent cheaper in February 2019 in the European comparison countries than in Switzerland.