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Evolution of Average European Medicine Prices: Implications for the Methodology of External Price Referencing

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  • Sabine Vogler

    (Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG/Austrian Public Health Institute))

  • Peter Schneider

    (Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG/Austrian Public Health Institute))

  • Nina Zimmermann

    (Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG/Austrian Public Health Institute))

Abstract

Background There are indications of staggered market entry of medicines in the national markets, with medicines being marketed first in countries with high prices. This study aimed to analyse the availability and evolution of medicine prices in the European Union (EU). Methods This research was performed for an illustrative sample of five medicines (abiraterone, emtricitabine/rilpivirine/tenofovir disoproxil, fingolimod, linagliptin and sofosbuvir) in 27 EU Member States. Price data at 6, 12, 18, 36 and 60 months after marketing authorisation were retrieved from national administrative price databases and registers accessible through the Pharma Price Information service. Results In the first year after marketing authorisation, price data for the selected medicines were only available in a small number of EU Member States—usually high-income countries. Availability increased over time. However, some countries, for instance Central and Eastern Europe, had price data available only several years after marketing authorisation. The average European price of the surveyed medicines decreased by at least 7.1% between 6 months and 3 years and at least 9.5% between 6 months and 5 years after marketing authorisation. Price data availability in lower-income countries at later stages, and price decreases in some countries, appear to be major reasons for the reductions in average prices. Conclusions If policymakers aim to apply the pricing policy of external price referencing (i.e. price setting based on prices in other countries) for cost-containment purposes, they are recommended to undertake continuous price revisions over the years.

Suggested Citation

  • Sabine Vogler & Peter Schneider & Nina Zimmermann, 2019. "Evolution of Average European Medicine Prices: Implications for the Methodology of External Price Referencing," PharmacoEconomics - Open, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 303-309, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:pharmo:v:3:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s41669-019-0120-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s41669-019-0120-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. T. Joseph Mattingly & Joseph F. Levy & Julia F. Slejko & Nneka C. Onwudiwe & Eleanor M. Perfetto, 2018. "Estimating Drug Costs: How do Manufacturer Net Prices Compare with Other Common US Price References?," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 36(9), pages 1093-1099, September.
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    3. Sabine Vogler & Valérie Paris & Alessandra Ferrario & Veronika J. Wirtz & Kees Joncheere & Peter Schneider & Hanne Bak Pedersen & Guillaume Dedet & Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar, 2017. "How Can Pricing and Reimbursement Policies Improve Affordable Access to Medicines? Lessons Learned from European Countries," Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 307-321, June.
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    5. Dominik J. Wettstein & Stefan Boes, 2019. "Effectiveness of National Pricing Policies for Patent-Protected Pharmaceuticals in the OECD: A Systematic Literature Review," Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 143-162, April.
    6. Bonny Parkinson & Catherine Sermet & Fiona Clement & Steffan Crausaz & Brian Godman & Sarah Garner & Moni Choudhury & Sallie-Anne Pearson & Rosalie Viney & Ruth Lopert & Adam Elshaug, 2015. "Disinvestment and Value-Based Purchasing Strategies for Pharmaceuticals: An International Review," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 33(9), pages 905-924, September.
    7. Sabine Vogler & Kenneth R. Paterson, 2017. "Can Price Transparency Contribute to More Affordable Patient Access to Medicines?," PharmacoEconomics - Open, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 145-147, September.
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    1. Kjellberg, Hans & Sjögren, Ebba & Krafve, Linus Johansson, 2023. "The functions of known to be inaccurate prices in markets: A cross-country comparison of pharmaceutical list pricing," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 167(C).
    2. Sabine Vogler, 2019. "Fair prices for medicines? Exploring competent authorities’ and public payers’ preferences on pharmaceutical policies," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 443-469, August.
    3. Massimo Florio & Chiara Pancotti, 2022. "European pharmaceutical research and development. Could a public infrastructure overcome market failures?," Working Papers 202202, CSIL Centre for Industrial Studies.
    4. Vogler, Sabine & Fischer, Stefan, 2020. "How to address medicines shortages: Findings from a cross-sectional study of 24 countries," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 124(12), pages 1287-1296.
    5. Jae Ho Jung & Dae Jung Kim & Kangho Suh & Jaeeun You & Je Ho Lee & Kyung In Joung & Dong Churl Suh, 2021. "International Price Comparisons of Anticancer Drugs: A Scheme for Improving Patient Accessibility," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(2), pages 1-14, January.

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