The medicines fall in price in 2019. With the entry into force on January 1 of the Reference Price Order of 2018, published in the Official State Gazette on November 27, 1,277 presentations of community pharmacy drugs and 497 presentations of hospital medicines will be cheaper this year in the Canary Islands and throughout the Spanish State. This measure will reduce the public bill for medicines by 88 million euros, as reported by the General Council of Official Associations of Pharmacists.
Due to its impact on the reduction of the bill for community pharmacy drugs, there are drugs that have suffered significant price decreases, sometimes reaching reductions of up to 40%. This group includes anti-inflammatory drugs, antitussives or drugs for osteoarthritis, hypercholesterolemia, glaucoma or high blood pressure. Thus, the ten active ingredients with the greatest impact on the price reduction represent 89% of the reduction of the bill.
Among the presentations of medicines that lower the price in community pharmacy are active ingredients widely used in the Spanish market such as ibuprofen, drugs for asthma such as salbutamol or budesonide, antidepressants such as escitalopram, oral contraceptives such as levonorgestrel / ethinylestradiol or medicines for Parkinson's like ropinirole.
Since the Order was published on November 27, which has affected more than 16,000 presentations of drugs and until January 1, pharmacies dispensed the available stocks at the previous price. Since Tuesday, with the entry into force of the new prices, pharmacies have begun to dispense the drugs at a reduced price, assuming the difference of the stocks that still have stock.
For the president of the General Council of Official Associations of Pharmacists, Jesús Aguilar, "the reference price system has been consolidated, however we believe that, once the savings have been passed on, some aspects that harm the pharmacy should be corrected beyond the reduction in billing, such as extending the coexistence of medicines with old and new prices ".
Medicines that are financed with public resources are submitted each year to the reference price system, which sets the maximum amount of financing for the drugs included in each set.