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Health costs Pharmacists protest against cost-saving plan

Rally by pharmacists outside parliament building

The pharmacists argue they already contribute most to cost reduction in the health sector. 

(Ppr Media Relations Ag)

The government is facing opposition from pharmacists against plans to reduce subsidies and cap prices of generic drugs.

The pharmacists’ association on Monday launched a petition, calling on the government to drop its cost-saving plans and boost basic medical services instead.

The lobby groupexternal link says chronically ill patients and those needing medication at short notice will be hardest hit by the planned cuts. It urges the government to guarantee a “functioning medical basic service of high quality – also in remote regions”.

Last year, Interior Minister Alain Berset presented plans to cut prices of generic drugs which would reduce costs by up to CHF480 million ($480 million). The government also proposed savings to the tune of CHF50 million by cutting subsidies to pharmacists, doctors and hospitals for logistical services.

The pharmacists argue they contributed more than others in the health sector to provide a cost-friendly public service in collaboration with family doctors and the personnel of the care sector.

Steadily rising health costs have put pressure on the government and parliament to act. Several initiatives are underway to reduce mandatory health premiums.

Switzerland has one of the most expensive health systems and rising costs have long been a major concern for consumers.

healthcare costs Initiative launched to cap health insurance premiums

A people’s initiative wants health insurance premiums to not exceed 10% of income with the balance paid for by the state.

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