Changes in Medication Costs: What You Need to Know

  18.04.2024 Local News, Healthcare, Local News, NewsUpdate

If you rely on certain original medications, be prepared for potential cost increases this year.

The Federal Council has introduced new measures to lower healthcare expenses in Switzerland, notably by increasing the co-payment for specific original medicines to 40 percent. Barbara Annen, pharmacist and co-Managing Director of Gstaad's Dr Kropf pharmacy, explains these changes and offers advice for affected patients.

Why the Increase?
As of January 1, 2024, health insurance will now cover only 60 percent of the cost for certain original medications, leaving patients to pay the remaining 40 percent. This shift aims to encourage patients to opt for more affordable generic alternatives, effectively reducing overall healthcare expenditures. Our pharmacy team is committed to assisting customers affected by this adjustment.

This adjustment builds upon previous policy changes that began in 2006, where a 20 percent co-payment was applied if generics were available for certain medications.

Which Medications are Affected?
While we can't specify the exact number, this change impacts medications across various active ingredient groups, including biopharmaceuticals.

Who is Responsible?
The Federal Council enacted this change to encourage the use of generics. The Federal Office of Public Health regulates the prices for medications under compulsory health insurance.

What if I Need the Original Medication?
Patients who require specific original medications due to intolerance to generics can still access them with a 10 percent co-payment, provided their doctor indicates this need on the prescription. Without this explicit instruction, the co-payment remains at 40 percent for the original medication.

Quality of Generics
Generics adhere to the same rigorous standards for efficacy and safety as original medications, ensuring they are a viable alternative.

Seeking Guidance
If you find your medication affected by these changes, consult with your doctor about potential alternatives with a lower co-payment. Opting for generics reduces personal costs and supports cost-saving measures in our healthcare system.

For more information or assistance, please reach out to your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Based on AvS | Anita Moser & Jocelyne Page


Further information from FOPH (Federal Office of Public Health) can be found here

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