Public medical health insurance reimbursements for hashish in Germany have fallen for the second straight quarter.
Except this drop is being offset by a rise in non-public prescriptions, it implies that complete gross sales of medical hashish in Germany – Europe’s largest market – are lowering. (Information for personal prescriptions isn’t out there.)
It’s the first time reimbursements have fallen for 2 consecutive quarters because the medical program began in early 2017, based on new knowledge for the interval ended Sept. 30.
The hashish flower class is declining each when it comes to the variety of prescriptions and the whole euros reimbursed by statutory well being insurers.
This implies firms with enterprise plans based mostly on projected exponential development ought to test their premises and adapt to how the market is evolving in actuality.
Within the third quarter of 2020, reimbursements of medical hashish and cannabinoid-based medicines totaled 36 million euros ($43.8 million), based on the German Nationwide Affiliation of Statutory Well being Insurance coverage Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband).
That’s 2% decrease than the earlier quarter.
German pharmacies processed 82,986 prescriptions beneath the statutory program within the quarter ended Sept. 30.
That’s 3% greater than the earlier quarter.
Nevertheless, the common worth per prescription dropped 5%.
Reimbursed flower fell from 20 million euros the primary quarter of the yr to 17.6 million euros and 16.8 million euros within the second and third quarters, respectively.
The extracts class skilled timid development within the third quarter over the earlier quarter.
Flower reimbursements are nonetheless bigger than these of compounded extracts.
The present development signifies which may flip in 2021.
In November, Marijuana Enterprise Each day warned that gross sales technique is important at this stage of the German flower market.
All medical hashish and cannabinoid-based merchandise are included within the knowledge, from unprocessed flower to completed pharmaceutical merchandise comparable to Sativex and Canemes.
The one exception is Epidiolex reimbursements, that are excluded from the info supplied by the GKV.
MJBizDaily beforehand reported that statutory well being insurers have authorized greater than 60,000 purposes for reimbursement since March 2017.
March 2020 was the strongest month because the present regulatory framework was carried out in 2017, with reimbursements reaching nearly 15 million euros, an elevated almost definitely spurred by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
GKV-reimbursed hashish since April has remained steady, coming in between 11 million euros and 13 million euros every month, or about the identical as the tip of 2019.
As famous above, this knowledge doesn’t embrace non-public prescription gross sales. These are paid out of pocket by sufferers who’ve GKV insurance coverage however haven’t certified for hashish protection or doubtlessly lined by non-public insurers.
As a result of GKV reimbursement knowledge doesn’t embrace non-public prescriptions, the whole sum lined by statutory well being insurers shouldn’t be thought-about as the whole market measurement.
The German authorities acknowledged earlier this yr it doesn’t know the way a lot hashish is offered via non-public prescriptions.
All reimbursement knowledge relies on retail costs at pharmacies, that are the one licensed factors of sale for sufferers in Germany.
For merchandise not included within the “completed pharmaceutical merchandise” class, pharmacies beforehand marked up costs as a lot as 100% from wholesale.
However that modified, retroactive to March 2020, with margins barely compressed throughout the availability chain.
Decrease costs, extra extracts, much less flower
The typical prescription worth – which stands at 434 euros – decreased throughout the board by 5% on common, with the 7% lower for compounded extracts representing the most important drop.
In different phrases, the rising variety of prescriptions isn’t enough to beat declining costs.
In comparison with the second quarter, flower reimbursements within the third quarter dropped 4% in worth whereas extracts offered as magistral preparations barely grew 1% when it comes to euros lined.
The variety of flower prescriptions lined by GKV insurers decreased 2% whereas these for compounded extracts elevated 8%.
Reimbursements of completed pharmaceutical merchandise remained unchanged in euros quarter-over-quarter.
Whereas the ratio of reimbursed flower gross sales to general gross sales has been lowering – from slightly greater than 50% of the whole GKV market initially of the yr to 47% within the third quarter – that of extracts has been rising.
The extracts market is much less aggressive in comparison with the flower market, though the extracts section is gaining new entrants. Not too long ago new merchandise turned out there each as full-spectrum extracts and isolate.
Throughout the extracts class, nearly all of gross sales are represented by preparations with pure THC – offered to pharmacies as dronabinol API. But in addition included are some pharmaceutical CBD gross sales in addition to full-spectrum extracts.
Completed pharmaceutical merchandise, a class represented principally by Sativex, remained steady, accounting for 15% of the GKV-covered market.
Germany’s home flower manufacturing isn’t anticipated to succeed in retail cabinets till 2021, that means all flower continues to be imported, both from Canada, the Netherlands, Portugal and, extra lately, Spain.
The German hashish market lined by statutory well being insurers is predicted to be roughly 150 million euros in 2020, up 22% from 2019.
Alfredo Pascual might be reached at [email protected]