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PHARMA COMPANIES IN SLOVAKIA: UNCOVERING CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Two years ago, the leading German pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim, applied to Slovak authorities for its new anti-diabetes drug, Synjardy, to be covered by health insurance. Drug manufacturers are keen for their medicine to be covered since it would reduce its price and therefore could sell more. Boehringer estimated in its application that within four years almost a thousand patients would be on the drug and the insurance subsidy would amount to half a million euros annually. Leading Slovak diabetologist, Emil Martinka, was one of the key evaluators of Synjardy’s merits. As the head of the advisory diabetes expert group, he makes recommendations to other experts and takes part in the final vote on whether to approve the drug for coverage or not. In early 2015, Martinka voted twice for Synjardy’s approval.
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