Campaign for fair medicine prices: play Monopoly, the Medicine Edition

23/1/2024 - News

In a new video by Dutch comedian and presenter Roel Maalderink, pharmaceutical company Katjing Farma presents a new game: Monopoly, the Medicine Edition. The video shows that in the current medicine market, making extreme profits is more important than health. The video is part of a Dutch campaign by Wemos for fair medicine prices.


Access to medicines under pressure

According to Wemos, access to healthcare and medicines is under pressure, also in the Netherlands. Pharmaceutical companies are given a monopoly on new medicines and charge extremely high and opaque rates. Expensive medicines are in danger of no longer being reimbursed and the high costs lead to displacement of other care. At the beginning of 2023, it was decided for the first time in the Netherlands not to reimburse three medicines due to their extremely high prices.

“Due to inadequate regulation, pharmaceutical companies can charge whatever they want and do not have to justify their prices,” says Emily Dowdalls, medicine policy expert at Wemos. “The current system is untenable if we want to guarantee access to healthcare and medicines for everyone. People’s health must take priority over making excessive profits.”

Transparency and agreements about the price

In the campaign ‘Health over money: medicines for everyone’, Wemos calls on the Dutch government to ensure fair medicine prices. “We advocate legislation and regulations for transparency about costs and pricing, and agreements on prices when medicines are developed with taxpayer’s money,” says Dowdalls. “The formation of the new Dutch cabinet offers opportunities for the elected parties to lay down plans for this.”

People can join a special Dutch LinkedIn group to join our call and stay informed of developments on this topic.

Roel Maalderink

Roel Maalderink previously made another video for this campaign. As Mark from Katjing Farma, he takes to the streets to talk to people about his company’s new medicines. People are shocked when they hear the prices of his products. This video was viewed more than a million times on LinkedIn and Instagram and sparked much online discussion and support for our call.

Infographic and interviews with experts

In addition to Roel Maalderink’s videos, we published an infographic about how we can make fair medicine prices. We also interviewed Professor Carin Uyl-de Groot, who advocates for a fair medicine market. We will soon publish another interview with Jos Kosterink (hospital pharmacist) and Tom van Meerten (internist) from the University Medical Center Groningen, who started making their own medicines because of the high prices of pharmaceutical products. There will also be an animation about what is needed for a fair system.

Our campaign page contains our manifesto, all campaign materials and a Q&A.

Since this is a campaign that focuses on the Dutch public and politics, all campaign materials are in Dutch. Roel Maalderink’s videos are also available with English subtitles.

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