Changes have been made to the reimbursement list due to the economic crisis but the pharmaceutical market will continue to grow.
Whilst many countries have entered recession as a result of the economic crises, Poland’s economy did not shrink in 2009. In fact, it was the only economy in the EU that avoided contraction. Consequently, the impact on the Polish pharmaceutical market will be far less than in other countries of similar development in Central & Eastern Europe, such as Hungary. There will be less of a need to reduce spending on healthcare and the disposable income available for purchasing pharmaceuticals should remain steady, although unemployment is predicted to rise marginally in 2010, which may be detrimental to retail sales.
However, recent changes to the drug reimbursement list do reflect the government’s cost-containment policy that was prompted by the economic downturn. Only two new innovative drugs have been placed on the list, although innovative drugs that had previously been approved for reimbursement were not removed. Over 100 generic drugs were added to the lists, but around 50 were removed. Along with the many medicine price decreases that the MoH has negotiated with several pharmaceutical companies, overall savings are expected to reach 45 million zlotys (US$15.2 million).
Further reading - A detailed analysis of the Polish pharmaceutical market is available from Espicom: The Pharmaceutical Market: Poland (published May 2010)