Drug Pricing Reform Postponed
Budapest - The Hungarian government postponed the reform of the national drug price subsidy system, and opted instead to freeze the prices until February 2004. It also added approximately Euro76 million to the current drug subsidy budget.
Health Minister Judit Csehák said negotiations with producers and distributors are under way and the resulting regulations will probably come into effect on February 1, 2004. Finance Ministry undersecretary István Vágfalvi emphasised during a press conference that these are not austerity measures and will not add to the budget deficit.
Csehák said drug producers were “understanding” and accepted the move. Producers, however claimed they did not yet possess sufficient information to assess the possible impact of the measures.