Which Price is Right? Regulating the cost of pharmaceuticals in Europe and North America – Stockholm Network – December 2011

Posted on December 9, 2011. Filed under: Health Economics, Health Technology Assessment, Pharmacy | Tags: |

Which Price is Right? Regulating the cost of pharmaceuticals in Europe and North America – Stockholm Network – December 2011

by Paul Healy

“This is the latest publication of the Stockholm Network`s newest programme on Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and pharmaceutical pricing. Which Price is Right? is an extensive study into the regulations around the price of pharmaceuticals in Europe and North America, identifying a pricing spectrum that balances between controlled prices set by healthcare payers and market-based prices set by manufacturers.

It argues that Europe currently finds itself in a position where it is getting “more for less” in regards to pharmaceuticals, although in doing so it relies on more market-based environments, such as the United States, to progress the research into much needed innovations. Although it may not seem so initially to policymakers, this is ultimately identified as problematic for two reasons.

Firstly, it puts European nations in a position where they can be accused of “free-riding” on patients in the US and thus not paying their fair share towards the current cost of developing medicines that are of value to the entire globe, not least to their own patients. Secondly, it means that European nations have surrendered some autonomy over their healthcare systems by placing the burden for medical innovation on the shoulders of others, whilst leaving themselves susceptible to changes in pharmaceuticals regulations over which they have no authority.”

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