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Patient associations fight after rising depression prices



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The Association of Depression, the Knowledge Center for Bipolar Disorders and Plusminus, an association for people living with bipolarity, are angry at the quadruple growth of the price of the drug Priadel. This is used by people with bipolar or depressive disorder.

The manufacturer, the British company Essential Pharma, will increase the price of the drug from 4.76 to 15.78 euros for every one hundred units as of tomorrow. Priadel was previously Frenchman Sanofi, but was bought by the British in March.

Previously Essential Pharma also assumed an alternative medicine for Priadel, that is, Camcolit. The price of this medication was also increased to the maximum rate according to the Medication Price Law. According to Plusminus and the Association of Depression, the price increase costs the patients through the personal contribution of 80 to 120 euros per year.

"Outraged"

"For most patients, this medication helps maintain the steady state of mind and to treat and prevent depression or (hypo) mania," writes the two associations. "This is a vulnerable group, many of whom rely on social assistance benefits as a result of their condition and which, moreover, have to incur higher health costs than the average."

The associations say it is scandalous that an essential drug can be four times more expensive during the night. "The drill argument that is commonly used in terms of development costs is applied to a drug that has existed for decades has not been used."

The Association of Depression, the Knowledge Center and Plusminus claim that the increase shows that the benefit is essential for the pharmaceutical industry and not for the health interest of patients.

The criticisms preceding the manufacturer's price increases

The pharmaceutical company, in the hands of a British multimillionaire, was also examined in 2017 due to the rise in prices of various medications it had acquired from other manufacturers. It was Norgalax (a laxative medication), Slow K (a medication for people with potassium deficiency), calcitonin (with too much calcium and Paget's disease, bone disease) and therefore Camcolit, a medication for people with depression they are

In the House of Representatives, at that moment an angry response was given, and then Secretary of State for public health, Van Rijn, described the state of affairs as "very undesirable", despite That the price increase was allowed by law. The pharmaceutical organization KNMP spoke of "sharp and extreme price increases."

A pharmaceutical spokesman argued that the price increased at that time. "Our goal as a company is to keep these medicines in the Dutch market because they are important for patients with different conditions," said a spokeswoman. "As a small organization, with relatively high production costs, we can do this only if we increase prices."

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