We would like to thank to Chris for devoting his time for us to introduce – both in a proficient and entertaining way – the characteristics of his country’s health care system and the methods of financing pharmaceutical care in the Netherlands.

Chris Prins’s presentation is accessible on You just need to click on the image.

Some of the perceived information:

  • The Netherlands spends a significant percentage from the total GDP for health care to secure satisfying health care for its citizens.
  • Competition among insurers for the providers (multiple private insurer situation) plays an outstanding part in the Dutch system which include profit-orientated incentives.
  • Semi-private insurance companies have the ability to achieve very low ex-factory prices for generic pharmaceuticals because they are large purchasing parties.
  • The low-priced generic market is very unattractive for generic manufacturers, which causes drug shortages.
  • There is a huge responsibility on the pharmacists’ shoulders due to the Medical Treatment Agreement Act. For example when the doctor issues a prescription that is not appropriate for the patient, or even threatens his/her health status and the pharmacist agrees on and provides the medicine, the pharmacist will be equally accountable as the prescribing doctor.
  • Defining and then presenting the value of pharmaceutical care for payers is a real challenge. Although several methods were developed for such purposes, their use in pharmacy practice is still questionable.

His most important take home message: “Taking responsibility for good pharmaceutical care, as well as quantifying and reporting your actions as a pharmacist is a first step in achieving and providing better healthcare for a fair price”.

Anda Júlia
Second year student at ELTE Health Policy, Planning and Financing MSc program