Coalition: pharmaceutical companies to stock more vaccines

Politicians from the CDU/CSU and SPD pleaded on Monday for stricter rules for the stockpiling of vaccines. Thus, the SPD advocated the Pharmaceutical companies too coercive , Keep more preparations on hand. The CDU/CSU demanded that health insurers allow more companies to bid in tenders. However, the number of manufacturers of inoculants is small after several mergers in the industry.

The British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Has reported difficulties in the production of vaccines against chickenpox (varicella), which will last until the second quarter. The reasons are quality problems in a factory in Belgium. A quadruple vaccine (MMRV) against measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox and a single vaccine against varicella are affected.

Despite the Bottlenecks sees Health Minister Hermann Grohe No acute need for action. "At the moment, there is no reason for uncertainty or panic," a spokeswoman stressed. The shortfall at GSK could be compensated for by products from other manufacturers. Experts have recently expressed doubts about this, especially with regard to the protection against Chickenpox . The other major manufacturer of such vaccines, Sanofi Pasteur MSD, has stated that it cannot fully compensate for the loss of a competitor.

SPD parliamentary group vice-chairman Karl Lauterbach calls for reforms in the sector: the vaccine market is not functioning properly, he told the Reuters news agency. There is too little competition and too much dependence on individual companies, even though demand can be planned. "We must systematically come to the fact that vaccines must be kept in stock," demanded the health economist. It is conceivable, for example, that companies rebate contracts Would be favored in other sectors if they reliably kept vaccines in reserve.

Union health expert Jens Spahn called on health insurers to reorganize the tender process for vaccines. "In the future, more manufacturers must have a go, the current procedure promotes monopolization," said CDU politician. Long-lasting Supply bottlenecks in vaccines did not fit one of the best health care systems in the world.

The Standing Committee on Vaccination recommends a vaccination against chickenpox. The first is usually produced after the 12. Month of life administered. Usually the combination vaccine from GSK is used for this purpose. The RKI is now advising alternative Triple vaccine against measles, mumps, rubella . In addition, a single vaccine against chickenpox should be administered while it is still in stock. To ensure the first vaccinations of young children, both preparations should be used primarily for this purpose, the RKI recommends. According to the experts, an upcoming second vaccination against chickenpox can be postponed without disadvantages until the bottleneck is eliminated.

The policy has Discount contracts , which health insurance companies can negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, as a reason for vaccine problems in the target. From the industry's point of view, they depress prices so much that producing such preparations is not attractive to many companies. In this case, however, rebate contracts played no role, as the health insurance funds and the ministry emphasized. The Federal Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry (BPI ) pointed out that problems could always arise in the production of biological drugs. Production is time-consuming. It can take up to 22 months to produce a vaccine. It is subject to strict quality controls, which Sanofi Pasteur MSD says account for about 60 to 70 percent of production time.

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