Pharmaceutical Pricing Policies in a Global Market. OECD Health Policy Studies
(2008; 12 pages)

Abstract

Pharmaceutical pricing policies are designed with national objectives in mind, but are the transnational implications always taken into account?

Pharmaceutical policy making raises particular challenges in reconciling key objectives for health policy, such as ensuring affordable access to the latest effective drugs, with other important policy considerations, such as providing support to a valuable national industry. Unusually among health policy issues, it also raises international considerations that further complicate decision making, particularly as the nature and extent of such considerations are not well understood. How do national pharmaceutical pricing policy decisions affect innovation in the pharmaceutical sector? How do such decisions affect prices paid for pharmaceuticals, or access to pharmaceuticals, in other countries?

This report assesses how pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement policies have contributed to the achievement of certain health policy objectives. It examines the national and transnational effects of these policies, in particular, their implications for the availability of medicines in other countries, the prices of these medicines, and innovation in the pharmaceutical sector.

This publication presents an analysis of comparative price levels, making use of a unique dataset to construct the most comprehensive pan-OECD pharmaceutical price index to date. It also draws upon original case studies of pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement policies in six OECD countries to provide specific examples of the impacts of policies on health system performance.

 
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