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Netherlands: Debate between Dutch Minister of Care and pharmaceutical companies

On 27 August 2019, the Dutch Minister of Care wrote an open letter in one of the main Dutch newspapers (De Volkskrant), addressed to pharmaceutical companies. In the letter he requested price transparency. He stated that when an explanation for a price increase is proposed by a pharmaceutical company (for example, high development costs or failed trials), he will invite the company to explain this to the public. If the explanation is not plausible, he will consider naming and shaming that company.

On 13 September 2019, pharmaceutical company Laediant sent a letter to the Minister requesting more clarity on the level of transparency required. Negotiations between the Dutch health insurers and Leadiant stalled earlier this year as it appeared that, according to Leadiant, health insurers were not open to a fair negotiation about price because the University Medical Center Amsterdam had been reproducing Leadiant's medicine at a lower price all along. This activity was suspended due to alleged issues with the raw materials. Leadiant now seems to be in discussions with the Minister.

A prior version of this post was originally published by the same authors in Practical Law – Life Sciences, September 2019 Issue (Thomson Reuters).