Harney faces key decision on drug prices

At the end of October, a conference table at the Dutch health ministry was groaning under the weight of an enormous cake.

11th December, 2004

At the end of October, a conference table at the Dutch health ministry was groaning under the weight of an enormous cake.

The cake was being cut to celebrate the signing of an agreement between the ministry, drug manufacturers, health insurers and pharmacists, under which the prices of a wide range of prescription drugs would be cut by an average of 40 per cent.

Within a matter of weeks, the Dutch health minister, Hans Hoogervorst, boasted...

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