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Reinforced transparency and budget provisions in place for Belgian healthcare sector

On 18 and 25 December 2016, the Belgian Chamber of Representatives adopted a law on various health-related matters (Health Law), and a program law which contains health budget provisions (Program Law).

The Health Law entered into force on 6 January 2017. One of its main features is that the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) will provide for a platform on which companies that place medicines or medical devices on the Belgian market must notify, once a year, the grants and benefits that they provide to healthcare professionals and other healthcare actors. The FAMHP will subsequently publish the results by 30 June of the following year. The FAMHP may delegate this responsibility to a recognised organisation (for example, Mdeon, a common platform composed of associations of healthcare actors such as physicians, pharmacists, nurses, paramedicals, wholesalers-distributors, and the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry).

The Program Law entered into force on 8 January 2017. It focuses on budgetary issues, such as mandatory price reductions for biological medicines, starting on 1 March 2017. It also includes minor amendments to the rules on prescription of low-priced medicines and levies on turnover of reimbursable medicines on the Belgian market.

A prior version of this post was originally published by the same authors in Practical Law – Life Sciences, January 2017 Issue (Thomson Reuters).