Cover: Pharmaceutical pricing

Pharmaceutical pricing

The use of external reference pricing

Published Jun 4, 2013

by Kai Ruggeri, Ellen Nolte

Download eBook for Free

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.5 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Summary Only

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

External reference pricing, or international price comparison, is a common strategy to control prices of pharmaceuticals that are protected by intellectual property rights and benefit from a legal monopoly (in-patent drugs). In the UK negotiations are under way that seek to define new arrangements for the pricing of branded (new) medicines from 2014. The pharmaceutical market in the UK only accounts for a small proportion of global sales; however, UK prices are important as many countries reference their prices against those in the UK. This report seeks to contribute to our understanding of approaches to pharmaceutical pricing in high-income countries and the role of reference pricing as a means to determining pharmaceutical prices. Reviewing experiences in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, we find high variability of external reference pricing across different settings and of the relative importance of this approach in comparison with other pricing strategies. There was also considerable variation in the terminology and practices used, and understanding the complexities of countries included in reference baskets for external pricing requires considerable semantic clarification. There was considerable overlap between countries that cross-reference, and it remains challenging to estimate the direct, immediate impact on external reference baskets. This review suggests that the international impact of pricing changes in the UK is likely to be minimal or indirect, largely because of the diverse ways in which reference pricing is implemented in the countries examined.

Research conducted by

The research described in this document was prepared for the Department of Health within the PRP project 'An "On-call" Facility for International Healthcare Comparisons' and conducted by RAND Europe.

This report is part of the RAND research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.