It is essential for our committee to maintain constant communication with the Ministry of Finance in the period ahead, in order for each year’s budget calendar to include the planning of financial resources for new medicines and their scope for the year in question
The FIC Pharma Industry Committee, as one of the youngest members of the network of FIC committees, has sought since its inception to bring together at its sessions not only companies from its primary scope of activity (the pharmaceutical market), but rather also all those with activities that are connected to the healthcare system in any form.
I’m referring primarily to private health insurance companies, as well as to the systems of institutions that provide healthcare services. This has obvious importance, because we are all aware that all players in the complex healthcare system are intertwined and interdependent. This in many ways eases our formulating of recommendations for the Government of the Republic of Serbia, while simultaneously complementing the breadth of expertise that we are able to provide.
Following the very promising start to 2022 and the high budget allocation of the National Health Insurance Fund (RFZO) for new medicines, which was supported by the Ministry of Finance and praised greatly in last year’s edition of the FIC Guide, there was an ensuing period of stagnation in terms of work and communication with representatives of both the Ministry of Health and the RFZO. That period coincided with the extremely lengthy process of forming the new Government of the Republic of Serbia, which resulted, among other things, in the postponing of the adoption of a new List of Medicines that wouldn’t have an impact on the RFZO budget and would expand the availability of certain essential therapies to patients in the Republic of Serbia.
The digitalisation process should ease the monitoring of treatment outcomes, which should form the basis to evaluate all investments in this area
We emphasise the importance of the fact that complete agreement has been reached between the RFZO and the pharmaceutical industry with regard to the insufficient level of the funds collected by the RFZO from health insurance contributions when it comes to covering the need of the health system/patients for new medicines. In this sense, the Ministry of Finance has a very important role to play in understanding this need and subsidising it with additional funds from the central budget allocated in an appropriate way. That’s why it’s essential for our committee to maintain constant communication with the Ministry of Finance in the period ahead and for the planning of this funding and its volume for the given year to be included in the annual budget calendar. It is equally important to continue respecting payment deadlines for all suppliers in the healthcare system, which is a prerequisite to ensure it is supplied and functions well.
The FIC Pharma Industry Committee also supports all forms of digitalisation in the healthcare system, which we expect – alongside the primary goals – to contribute to making savings that could be directed towards the financing of new therapies.