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Health costs


Price watchdog wants to speed up reforms


The government is facing criticism by the price watchdog over a perceived failure to introduce health reforms and stop the increase in health insurance premiums.

Stefan Meierhans blamed the interior ministry for its inability to find political compromises which would result in higher costs for the compulsory health insurance.

In an interview with the SonntagsZeitung newspaper, Meierhans accused the ministerial administration of shelving his recommendations about an amended pricing system for generics and therapeutic appliances.

He proposes binding deadlines for the Federal Health Office to respond to his recommendations.

He also called on consumer organisations and health insurance companies to appeal against drugs prices.

Meierhans criticised the office because it had been ill prepared to respond to a court decision last year, triggered by the pharmaceutical industry, suspending regular price controls.

“The authorities are led by the pharma instead of being in the driver’s seat,” he is quoted as saying.

Health insurance companies estimate that insurance premiums will again increase between 4% and 5% this year.

swissinfo.ch and agencies



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