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Cost-containment policies in public pharmaceutical spending in the EU

  • Giuseppe Carone
  • Christoph Schwierz
  • Ana Xavier

This paper presents and evaluates pharmaceutical policies in the EU aimed at the rational use of medicines and at keeping pharmaceutical spending under control. Policy makers are growing more aware that by regulating pharmaceutical markets correctly, considerable savings can be achieved without compromising the quality of care. Specifically, the paper makes the case that, by following numerous best-practices in pharmaceutical sector regulations, the value for money of pharmaceutical consumption could be substantially increased. Appropriate regulations can be relevant for pricing, reimbursement, market entry and expenditure control, as well as specific policies targeted at the distribution chain, physicians and patients. Drawing on various initiatives at the EU level related to the pharmaceutical sector, the paper also explores policy options for the EU.

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File URL: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/economic_paper/2012/ecp461_en.htm
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Paper provided by Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission in its series European Economy - Economic Papers with number 461.

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Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0461
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Web page: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/index_en.htmEmail:


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  1. Panos Kanavos & Joan Costa-Font, 2005. "Pharmaceutical parallel trade in Europe: stakeholder and competition effects," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 751-798, October.
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