Drug Reimbursement Systems in EU Member States, Iceland and Norway

The report describes the drug reimbursement systems used in the EU15 Member States, Iceland and Norway in 2001. In many countries the price of a drug is compared with the price of the same product in other European countries. In the Netherlands, for example, the price is based on the average price of the product in Belgium, Germany and France. In Ireland, the factory price of a drug cannot exceed the lowest price of the product in the United Kingdom (UK) or the average price in Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. The UK does not set prices for individual drugs; with the exception of generic drugs. Each producer can freely set the prices for its own products. However, the authorities negotiate a profit framework with the producer. If the profit turns out to be greater than agreed, the company either returns the surplus to the government, reduces the price of its drugs or postpones planned price rises. Etc. Health economics studies which allow the measurement and comparison of the costs and benefits of different treatment alternatives are becoming increasingly common in assisting price assessments and particularly decisions on reimbursability.

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