Slovak law sets clear rules and timelines in the process of approving the price and reimbursement of drugs. During the last decade, the Ministry of Health adopted several cost-containment measures in the price and reimbursement policy. The most effective measures were the implementation of the external referencing of drug prices in 2008 and the reimbursement law in 2011. The new act introduced several regulations such as making stricter rules for the referencing of prices, setting cost per quality-adjusted life-year threshold, and defining new rules for the setting of reimbursements. On one side, implementation of these measures helped to achieve visible cost savings, but, on the other side, cost-containment policies have had some unintended consequences. In recent years, Slovakia has been facing a decreased availability of drugs because of parallel exports. As a result of the government’s effort, Slovakia is the only country in the European Union that implemented a legal ban on the re-export of medicines. During the decade before 2011, many innovative drugs were included in the reimbursement system. Because of stricter legal conditions introduced in 2011, there has been a gradual shift in reimbursing innovative drugs from the standard reimbursement system to reimbursement by way of exceptions of health insurance companies. Recently, there has been an ongoing discussion on possible changes to the reimbursement law.
Maria Bucek Psenkova Martin Visnansky Stanislava Mackovicova Dominik Tomek