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The social cost of drugs in France in 2010


  • Pierre Kopp

    () (Panthéon-Sorbonne University (Paris I))

  • Marysia Ogrodnik

    () (Panthéon-Sorbonne University (Paris I))


The social cost of drugs is the monetary cost of both the consequences of their trade and their consumption. In this paper, drugs considered are tobacco and alcohol, which are legal, plus those that are illegal. The social cost is the sum of the external cost: value of loss in quality of life, value of years of life lost and value of loss in productivity, plus public expenditure. Public expenditure consists of public spending on medical care, prevention, and law enforcement, minus savings from unpaid pensions and taxes levied on tobacco and alcohol. The parameters for the calculations have used the recommendations of a French governmental working group (2013) Quinet, L’évaluation socioéconomique des investissements publics [Internet], Centre d’Analyse Stratégique, 2013, , and the health data were derived from the scientific literature. The social costs are €122 billion for tobacco, €118 billion for alcohol, and €8.7 billion for illegal drugs. The largest fraction of the costs (53, 56, and 31 %, respectively) derives from the number of deaths, 79,000 for tobacco, 49,000 for alcohol, and 1600 for illegal drugs, given the high cost of a year of life lost (€115,000). The external cost corresponds to 86, 97, and 68 % of the social cost, respectively, for tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs. The annual drug-related net expenditure represents €13.9, €3.0, and €2.3 billion, respectively, for tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs. The tax revenues on tobacco and alcohol, €10.4 and €3.2 billion, represent less than half of the corresponding healthcare costs, which are €25.9 and €7.7 billion.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Kopp & Marysia Ogrodnik, 2017. "The social cost of drugs in France in 2010," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 18(7), pages 883-892, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:eujhec:v:18:y:2017:i:7:d:10.1007_s10198-016-0835-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s10198-016-0835-9

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Iluminada Fuertes-Fuertes & J. David Cabedo & Inmaculada Jimeno-García, 2019. "Capturing the Invisible Wealth in Nonprofits to Overcome Myopic Perceptions," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(1), pages 1-18, December.

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