MJBizDaily offers calculator to tally German medical cannabis prices

To help industry executives better visualize the new retail prices for insurance-covered medical cannabis in Germany, Marijuana Business Daily has developed a free calculator.

The calculator’s debut comes after German pharmacists and insurers agreed on a new cannabis reimbursement scheme that now computes prices based on the product type and size of the prescription.

In the case of flower products, the relevant input is the number of grams dispensed.

The calculation involves downloading a free Excel file and simply writing the number of grams of a hypothetical prescription.

The spreadsheet then does the math, providing a breakdown of the final retail price and the price per gram that corresponds to that particular prescription size.

This first version of the Excel file calculates prices only for flower products.

You can get the free calculator here.

The German Pharmacists Association (Deutscher Apothekerverband, DAV) recently reached a new price agreement with the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (Spitzenverband der Gesetzlichen Krankenversicherung, GKV).

The price agreement changes the way in which pharmacies calculate the price of medical cannabis products to be covered by the insurers.

This applies to flower, full-spectrum extracts and dronabinol preparations covered by the GKV.

Since early 2017, German statutory health insurers have been expected to cover the cost of medical cannabis if certain conditions are met.

Until now, pharmacies could mark up flower and other cannabis products by roughly 100% over the buying price and the medicine still was covered by the GKV.

That meant pharmacies had little incentive to negotiate cheaper buying prices because their markups were a percentage over the price paid to wholesalers. So a higher purchase price translated to a higher margin for a pharmacy.

By comparison, the new price agreement establishes a fixed amount per gram, milligram or milliliter – depending on the product type – that insurers will pay pharmacies. The amount depends on the quantities of the prescription.

Especially for large prescriptions, the price per gram of flower will be significantly lower than the roughly 20 euros ($21.59) – sometimes more – that pharmacies calculated in the past based on the roughly 10 euros per gram they used to pay to the wholesalers supplying them.

To maintain their lofty margins, pharmacists now have an incentive to buy at somewhat lower prices.

In 2019, the GKV spent 123 million euros reimbursing medical cannabis.

Alfredo Pascual can be reached at alfredop@mjbizdaily.com

Looking for more tools to compete in the European medical cannabis market? Check out the second edition of “Medical Cannabis in Europe: The Markets & Opportunities,”  which MJBizDaily recently released. The free report is available for download here.