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Residents overpay LVL 12 mln on more expensive state-compensated drugs in 2012

BC, Riga, 23.05.2013.Print version
Residents of Latvia overpaid a total of LVL 12 million on the more expensive state-compensated medication in 2012, National Health Service Director Maris Taube said today during the presentation of a campaign that informs residents about the various state-compensated drugs, reports LETA.

Under the current system of state-compensated medications, many medications have a similar effect, and the state covers the cost of the least expensive. Residents who wish to buy more expensive medication that have the same effect must pay the difference between the state-compensated and the more expensive medication – which is how Latvia's residents overpaid a total of LVL 12 million last year.


The campaign is hoped to motivate patients not to overpay, and always ask their physicians or pharmacists about the least expensive medication. People should inquire why they would have different treatment if they buy the less expensive drugs – if their chemical composition is the same as of the more expensive medications, said Health Minister Ingrida Circene (Unity). There is no difference between the effect of the less and more expensive medication – the only difference is the company that has produced them, which decide at what prices the medications should be sold.


According to the National Health Service's estimates, the price for state-compensated medication can differ by as much as 20% to 90%. For instance, if a patient chooses to buy the least expensive state-compensated psychiatric medications, he or she does not have to pay anything on top of the price, while the most expensive medications may cost up to LVL 17 more. That is why the National Health Service and the Health Ministry's experts urge patients to not be afraid of talking about this with their physicians and pharmacists, and not to overpay for the medications they buy.


A new website has been set up for the campaign,, and there is a toll-free line that residents may call if they have any questions about state-compensated drugs: 80001234.

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