The Interministerial Drug Price Commission is the competent body for setting the prices of drugs that are financed in the National Health System, specifically for the sale price of the laboratory and of health products as well as other products. Minister Carolina Darias assured that “the main objective has been to set a price as affordable as possible, always maintaining the balance so that the product is available through the pharmaceutical channel.”
Thus, the agreement, adopted unanimously, has been to set the maximum retail price of the antigen tests for self-diagnosis at 2.94 euro. This price will be applied to all antigen tests for self-diagnosis that are for sale in pharmacy offices and that have been authorised for marketing by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products. The Director of the Basic Portfolio of Services of the SNS and Pharmacy of the Ministry of Health will sign the resolution today. Tomorrow it will be published in the BOE and will take effect the day after its publication, that is, on Saturday.
It should be noted that this body is chaired by the Ministry of Health and is made up of a member of all the autonomous communities and the following Ministries: Ministry of Finance and Public Function, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation and Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism. The Commission has analysed information related to the sale price of the distribution companies to pharmacy offices, the price of sale to the public by pharmacy offices and the sale price in neighbouring countries
Minister Darias explained that “in our country, self-diagnostic antigen tests with CE marking, since July 2021, can be purchased in pharmacies, without the need for a prescription and at the over-the-counter price” and added that “currently the commercialisation in Spain of 40 rapid tests of self-diagnostic antigens for COVID 19. We have gone from 22 in November to 40 today”.
In relation to the sale of these pharmaceutical products, especially, during the past weeks, “given the situation between supply and demand, from the Ministry and the Spanish Agency of Medicines we have been in contact with the parties involved, following the situation and adopting measures necessary to help resolve the issue,” she recalled.
Thus, to respond to this exponential increase in the demand for tests, as a temporary measure, the AEMPS issued express authorisations to allow the sale in pharmacies of certain antigen tests for professional use for the general population, specifically, 3 and has increased to 6 the number of companies authorised to market the tests with instructions in another language. “Thus, once the supply is stabilised, we now proceed to regulate the maximum price for sale to the public. Thus, in accordance with the applicable regulations, we have convened the Interministerial Commission on Drug Prices (CIPM), which will be held tomorrow at such an effect “, remarked the minister.
On the other hand, the Minister of Health has also given an account of the main agreements reached today at the meeting of the Public Health Commission regarding the vaccination strategy. The commission insisted that the vaccination of people aged 12 and over who have not yet been vaccinated or have not completed the primary vaccination is considered a priority and that the administration of booster doses is also a priority in population groups previously recommended.
The Public Health Commission has approved the modification of the interval for booster doses since the complete vaccination with mRNA vaccines is modified from 6 to 5 months from the last dose administered in primary vaccination. In addition, that in the administration of booster doses, the population strategy will continue, capturing and vaccinating the following age groups between 39 and 18 years of age, in an orderly fashion by age cohorts and prioritising people with risk conditions and those who received their primary vaccination the longest.
Booster doses will also be administered to people who make international trips for study or work reasons in which the administration of booster doses is required (justifying their need). Finally, people who received additional doses of mRNA vaccine because they are included in Group 7 or are people receiving treatment with immunosuppressive drugs (Strategy Update 9) will receive a booster dose 5 months after the last dose.