Member State spending on health care and pharmaceuticals:

  1. Pharmaceutical spending is the third largest component of Member State health
  2. Health and pharmaceutical expenditures continue to rise as a percent of
  3. GDP throughout the EU. This raises issues of sustainability; there is an imminent and
  4. ever-increasing need to contain growing health care costs, including those associated
  5. with pharmaceutical spending, and to spend scarce resources efficiently.
  6. Per capita GDP and health spending per capita are strongly correlated. While per
  7. capita GDP and per capita pharmaceutical spending are also correlated, some of the
  8. Member States that spend the most on medicines do not have the highest overall
  9. health care costs.
  10. The level of per capita pharmaceutical spending varies greatly across the EU: in a
  11. review of 20 Member States, the highest level of spending per capita is more than
  12. three times the lowest level.

Price differences among Member States

  1. The prices of pharmaceuticals vary across EU Member States: for a basket of 150
  2. medicines, the national averages differ by up to 25%.
  3. For individual pharmaceuticals sold across the EU, price differences are even higher.
  4. For patent-protected individual pharmaceuticals , differences as high as 4:1 have
  5. been observed between the highest and lowest prices.
  6. Price differences appear even greater for pharmaceuticals whose patents have
  7. expired, as generic versions increase market competition. For these medicines,
  8. differences as high as 16:1 have been observed among Member States for individual
  9. generic pharmaceuticals

The European pharmaceutical sector

  1. The pharmaceutical sector is a significant contributor to Europe’s employment and
  2. manufacturing, directly employing 633,100 people, and a key contributor to R&D
  3. The pharmaceutical sector in Europe spends in excess of €26 billion on
  4. pharmaceutical R&D (basic, discovery and development research).
  5. While aggregate data on public spending on pharmaceutical R&D is not readily
  6. available, public funding of pharmaceutical and biomedical R&D is estimated to be


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