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Spain to delay €5.4bn in unpaid drug bills

Farmaindustria, the trade body for Spain's pharmaceutical industry, is in talks with Spanish authorities to defer payment of €5.4bn owed to its members

Farmaindustria, the trade body for Spain's pharmaceutical industry, is in talks with Spanish authorities to defer payment of €5.4bn owed to its members by the country's regional governments.

According to a report in Bloomberg, Humberto Arnes, director general of Farmaindustria, said the group is negotiating on a plan to sell state-guaranteed securities backed by the unpaid bills, with proceeds going towards pharmaceutical companies.

He said: "The mechanism allows a delay until Spain is in a financial and economic situation that allows it to face the pharmaceutical bill."

Work on the proposal was at a very advanced stage, according to Arnes, with plans to have a system in place that could defer payment for four to six years and include future unpaid bills.

Spain's current drugs debt stands at €5.4bn, up from €5.19bn in March, 2011, with payment of bills delayed an average of 430 days.

In August, 2011, Spain passed a law enforcing the prescribing and dispensing of generic drugs rather than the more expensive brands, in an attempt to save €2.4bn a year and reduce the country's deficit.

Find out more about the pharmaceutical industry in Spain in PMGroup's Focus on Spain.

5th October 2011

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