In health policy there is a tension between primarily the Member States' competence and the European internal market and competition law. In this tension the European Union has gradually extended their design standards. This is evident not only in legislation and case law, but also in the crisis management policy and economic policy coordination.
To increase the visibility of the advantages of the principles in kind, solidarity and self-management, brings the statutory health insurance through the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband) their expertise and positions to the legislative processes - for example, to the drug market or competition and strengthens its presence at the EU level. Together with the German Accident Insurance and German Statutory Pension Insurance Scheme bears the GKV-Spitzenverband the European Representation of the German Social Insurance System (DSVAE) and the European Social Insurance Platform (ESIP), a consortium of national social organizations from across Europe. Therefore the GKV-Spitzenverband is involved in the pharmaceutical workgroup Medicine Evaluation Committee (MEDEV), an association of national organizations of social health insurance and national authorities responsible for the Evaluation of Medicinal institutions. Its task is to exchange information and experience on the therapeutic added value and reimbursement systems of medicines as well as in influencing the opinion and the legislative process to drug issues.
Meeting of European health insurance organisations
Decision-makers from social health insurance organisations from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria and Croatia met at the German National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds in Berlin in June 2015.
The discussion focused on European pharmaceutical policy and the impact of high-priced medicines on care for patients. The health insurers also observe the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that could affect drug patents and marketing rights as well as the transparency of clinical trials.
One of the most important legislative processes for health insurers is the new EU regulation for medical devices. Scandals concerning prostheses and breast implants have demonstrated a lack of patient safety and have stressed the need for new rules.
National reform agendas include diverse topics of mutual interest for social health insurers. Restructuring the hospital sector is a top priority in Croatia as well as in Germany. The French representatives reported problems regarding healthcare professionals, for example the regional distribution and the trend towards specialization of physicians. Similar challenges exist in the German healthcare system.