Member State spending on health care and pharmaceuticals:
- Pharmaceutical spending is the third largest component of Member State health
- Health and pharmaceutical expenditures continue to rise as a percent of
- GDP throughout the EU. This raises issues of sustainability; there is an imminent and
- ever-increasing need to contain growing health care costs, including those associated
- with pharmaceutical spending, and to spend scarce resources efficiently.
- Per capita GDP and health spending per capita are strongly correlated. While per
- capita GDP and per capita pharmaceutical spending are also correlated, some of the
- Member States that spend the most on medicines do not have the highest overall
- health care costs.
- The level of per capita pharmaceutical spending varies greatly across the EU: in a
- review of 20 Member States, the highest level of spending per capita is more than
- three times the lowest level.
Price differences among Member States
- The prices of pharmaceuticals vary across EU Member States: for a basket of 150
- medicines, the national averages differ by up to 25%.
- For individual pharmaceuticals sold across the EU, price differences are even higher.
- For patent-protected individual pharmaceuticals , differences as high as 4:1 have
- been observed between the highest and lowest prices.
- Price differences appear even greater for pharmaceuticals whose patents have
- expired, as generic versions increase market competition. For these medicines,
- differences as high as 16:1 have been observed among Member States for individual
- generic pharmaceuticals
The European pharmaceutical sector
- The pharmaceutical sector is a significant contributor to Europe’s employment and
- manufacturing, directly employing 633,100 people, and a key contributor to R&D
- The pharmaceutical sector in Europe spends in excess of €26 billion on
- pharmaceutical R&D (basic, discovery and development research).
- While aggregate data on public spending on pharmaceutical R&D is not readily
- available, public funding of pharmaceutical and biomedical R&D is estimated to be