Pricing and reimbursement of drugs and medical devices in Hungary
Similarly to other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Hungary has witnessed massive diffusion of healthcare technology such as drugs and medical devices since 1990. While substantial new pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and procedures have been liberalized, there has been no proper evaluation or training in their use. Healthcare providers have come to find themselves as entrepreneurs in private practice, while patients are acquiring an increasing awareness as customers of healthcare,demanding services in return for their taxes and contributions. This has led to extremely irrational patterns of investment in technology, with most an obvious waste of resources, while leaving basic needs unmet. Both the National Health Insurance Fund and the Ministry of Finance believe that the current pharmaceutical and medical device bill is too high. However, introducing a more transparent and flexible pricing and reimbursement framework may enable a more efficient allocation of the limited resources to be achieved.