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3 <p>Zagreb, 20 January 1999</p>
4 <p> Prompted by the Ministry of Health, the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance
5 ("HZZO") has announced its intention to introduce, as of 01 February 1999, a
6 system of so-called reference prices for all pharmaceutical products reimbursed
7 by state health insurance. Accordingly, PLIVA d.d. ("PLIVA"), the largest pharmaceutical
8 company in Croatia and leading pharmaceutical group in Central and Eastern Europe,
9 has commenced negotiations with the Ministry of Health and HZZO about determining
10 new prices of drugs.</p>
11 <p> The reference price system is used in many European countries, and HZZO has
12 embraced this model in order to reduce expenses in the Croatian health care
13 system. This model will help HZZO save an estimated HRK 350 million annually.
14 In terms of value, the introduction of these measures will mean approximately
15 HRK 40 million less revenue for PLIVA annually from pharmaceutical sales on
16 the Croatian market, where price reductions will mostly affect license products.</p>
17 <p> Commenting on the decision of the Croatian Ministry of Health and the Croatian
18 Institute for Health Insurance, Zeljko Covic, President of PLIVA's Management
19 Board, stressed: </p>
20 <p>"The problem of illiquidity in the Croatian health care system is one of the
21 main reasons why HZZO has forced drug manufacturers to reduce their prices.
22 This is an attempt to ration drug consumption in Croatia, that is, to reduce
23 the proportion of it that health insurance subsidies. During negotiations with
24 HZZO, PLIVA has showed understanding for the difficulties which exist in the
25 health care system with two goals in mind: for regular collection of debts in
26 the pharmaceutical industry to be achieved in Croatia, and to protect the vital
27 interests of the company." </p>
28 <p>For PLIVA, introducing the new system will cause an average 4-5% reduction
29 in drug prices paid by state health insurance. Taking into consideration the
30 fact that the total price reduction for products from HZZO's reference list
31 will amount to, according to the HZZO information, an average 15%, PLIVA's products
32 will have a smaller price reduction than those of other manufacturers. In order
33 to decrease the negative effect that these price reductions could have on the
34 company's financial results, PLIVA will exert its best efforts to reduce its
35 costs with additional measures, primarily by further reducing its production
36 costs and achieving more favourable contractual conditions with licence partners."
37 </p>

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