Prepaid medicine: Increase rolled back, what will be the new prices and charges? , Billing details based on CPI

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce reported this Wednesday that it has issued a “anticipatory security measure” that requires a group of companies prepaid medicine -which represents 75% of the associates- to Readjust your health plan fee values ​​from your next billing through December 2023Taking into account the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Within the framework of the investigation into alleged anti-competitive conduct that began in mid-January of this year, the Secretariat indicated in a statement, “The National Commission for the Defense of Competition (CNDC) determined that “There are numerous indications of a collusive arrangement between the major prepaid pharmaceutical companies in the country.”

The immediate effects of this alleged action were a “quasi-uniform increase in the prices of schemes”, warned the CNCD, which issued an opinion advising the Industry and Commerce Secretary of the Economy Ministry, which empowers it, to adopt precautionary measures. The Secretariat shall “enforce compliance with the conditions or order the conduct to cease for the purpose of preventing harm from occurring, or reduce its magnitude, its continuation or growth”.

According to the opinion, from now on “the seven prepaid pharmaceutical companies, the confederation that groups them together, and the person who chairs them” must comply with the following requirements:

  • The value of Medicare health plan fees collected may not exceed the following calculation: “Medical Aid health plan charges for the month of December 2023 multiplied by (1 + percentage variation between Consumer Price Index) General level with national coverage prepared by the National Institute of Statistics and Census Same index applicable at the time of respective billing, and corresponding to December 2023).
  • Prevent the exchange of any type of information, whether within the framework of meetings of the Argentine Union Health Confederation (UAS) or any other sector, including prices, services provided, costs and any other commercial information .
  • Preventive measures also orders prepaid pharmaceutical companies Submit information to CNDC on the nominal prices of each health plan … OfferedIncome received from each health plan and the number of members in each plan.” Companies must provide the data from December 2023 onwards, and report their updates on a monthly basis. In return, the companies and the UAS have an obligation to publish The full text of the anticipated safety measure on their respective websites, within a maximum period of 10 business days from the notification of the precautionary measure.

Those investigated by CNDC and reached out to as a precautionary measure are prepaid pharmaceutical companies Galeno Argentina, British Hospital of Buenos Aires Civil Association, German Hospital Civil Association, MEDIFEE Civil Association, Swiss Medical, OMINT, OSDE Organization of Direct Business Services; Argentine Health Union (UAS) and Claudio Belokopit“In his dual capacity as chairman of the Swiss medical firm and UAS.”

According to Commerce Ministry sources, Quota reduction will be around 33%, Sources indicated that the inflation-based adjustment limit will remain in place for the next six months. And although companies can appeal the measure, merely submitting a complaint is not enough to overturn the official decision, he explained.

The research that gave rise to this remedy arose from a Complaint by Civic Alliance MLAs”factionalism” In the conditions of the Law on the Defense of Competition, the necessity and urgency of the coordinated increase in prices of prepaid drug plans carried out by a wide range of companies since the entry into force of Decision 70/2023.

Associate companies will not recover additional payments from December

According to the government, members of prepaid pharmaceutical companies They will not be able to recover the additional payments made during the first months of the year and in this sense they will have to wait for the precautionary measure Which will be presented by the Health Ministry.

“Return to growth It is not within the scope of powers of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce“, he clarified from the department in charge of Pablo Lavigne.

The presidential spokesman, Manuel Adorni, explained during his general press conference that “The Superintendent of Health will present before the Justice a precautionary measure to oblige companies to return to members the amounts above inflation that they collected since December. Is.”

Therefore, members of prepaid drug companies will not recover the additional amounts charged unless there is a court decision.

At present, in addition, No measures were mentioned for the group of exiting associates, which was estimated to number 500,000.

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