Health care in The Netherlands
In The Netherlands health care insurance is compulsory.
This insurance is provided by health insurance companies, which are commercial, state-independent enterprises. They are legally obliged to offer a basic package of coverage.
The basic package is available to everyone at no additional charge. Any individual may opt for extra insurance to cover a greater range of medical aids and treatment options. The Insurers sign contracts with health care providers (e.g., doctors) and institutions (e.g., hospitals).
Reimbursement of medicines
The vast majority of medicines are covered by the basic health insurance package. For pharmaceutical companies the inclusion in the basic package of a new medicine is of great importance for its successful launch.
The Minister of Health determines what will be covered by the basic package, on the basis of the advice of an independent organization (The Health Care Insurance Board CVZ). The assessment of the effectiveness relative to existing therapies is an important evaluation criterion.
Reputation and self-regulation
Nefarma endeavours to improve the reputation of the pharmaceutical industry. The public opinion of pharmaceutical companies is not altogether favourable.
Important elements of the active programme to improve the reputation are: a strict policy of self-regulation, promoting transparency, active dialogue with critical stakeholders, and engaging in debate on controversial topics. At the same time, the value of medicines and the importance of innovation for health care is actively promoted.