Industry wary of new German pricing rule

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Germany's a tough market for drugmakers, and in two months, the country's move to disclose discounted drug prices has pharmaceutical manufacturers worried about the impact this transparency will have on their ability to raise prices in other territories.

Reuters reports that the new law, which is set to go into effect in April, is intended to force pricing to be based on discounts, not wholesale prices, because the discounted prices, which Reuters says can be around 20%, will now be out in the open. Reuters says the concern is that some countries already use Germany's pricing as a benchmark, and this new peg would mean even lower prices in even more geographies should the math go live.

Jagen Pfundner, the chairman of Germany's pharma lobby VFA, and head of Swiss drugmaker Roche's German unit, told Reuters that drugmakers may keep certain drugs off the German market to avoid a watershed of discounts, but Reuters notes this would also mean opting out of the world's third-largest drug market.

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