Country Correspondent: Margje Haverkamp
Under Dutch law, drug prices may not exceed the mean price of that drug in four neighboring countries: Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Germany. The Dutch health care minister, Bruno Bruins, has suggested dropping Germany as a comparison country, in favor of Norway or Sweden, starting in 2020, because German prices are higher compared to the Nordic countries. In addition, Bruins wants to increase patient cost sharing for some expensive drugs for which therapeutically equivalent, cheaper versions are available. Bruins also proposed limiting patient cost sharing for these drugs to EUR 250 (USD 285) per patient per year, on top of the existing EUR 385 (USD 439) deductible that currently applies to health care costs. These changes are expected to save EUR 467 million (USD 533 million) on drug spending between 2019 and 2021.