Simplifying Drug Payments: A New System in the Works

Pharmacists are set to monitor medication surcharges, making life easier for patients. Once the limit set by the insurance company is reached or exceeded, people would no longer have to pay anything extra for their medications. This change would put an end to the annual return of overpayments.

Pharmacists can see in the system whether a patient has reached the threshold amount for medication surcharges. This is according to the Ministry of Health’s plan. “I wanted a simple thing, and, in the end, it will be,” said Health Minister Vlastimil Válek. “Why should I constantly pay overpayments and the insurance company return them to me when I have an electronic prescription or systems? Through them, I can track how the patient paid for the drugs when he reached the limit, and then he does not have to pay anymore,” Válek outlined his intention.

The Czech Pharmaceutical Chamber supports the change they proposed last year. “There would be something like an online system of the number of deductible surcharges into the limit, and if the patient, who is currently in the pharmacy, reached this limit, deductible surcharges over the limit would no longer be paid,” explained Martin Kopecký, vice pre”ident of the Czech Pharmaceutical Chamber. The details are still being fine-tuned.

Insurance companies annually return tens to hundreds of millions of crowns, which people overpay for drugs. Despite ubiquitous digitization, a significant portion of policyholders still prefer to receive money by postal order, not to a bank account, which has a number of pitfalls.

The change in the system is planned for 2025 by the Ministry of Health and will likely be included in the upcoming amendment to the law on public health insurance, which regulates drug surcharges. The setting of the system is still being debated, according to pharmacists. Health insurance companies are also waiting for the final form of the law. Some of them, however, are counting on the intention and are already preparing for technical adjustments to the system.