OECD Health Working Papers

ISSN :
1815-2015 (online)
DOI :
10.1787/18152015
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This series is designed to make available to a wider readership health studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.
 

Pharmaceutical Pricing and Reimbursement Policies in Switzerland You or your institution have access to this content

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Author(s):
Valérie Paris1, Elizabeth Docteur
Author Affiliations
  • 1: OECD, France

Publication Date
27 June 2007
Bibliographic information
No.:
27
Pages
62
DOI
10.1787/136157357151

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This paper examines aspects of the policy environment and market characteristics of the Swiss pharmaceutical sector, and assesses the degree to which Switzerland has achieved certain policy goals. In Switzerland, pharmaceutical spending has not been growing faster than health expenditure as a whole, as has been the case in many other OECD countries. Swiss pharmaceutical spending per capita and as a share of GDP is modest by OECD standards. This in part reflects relatively low levels of pharmaceutical consumption, given that public prices are among the highest in Europe and the Swiss tend to be early adopters of new pharmaceutical products. Switzerland’s regulation of prices for reimbursed drugs, based on referencing across countries and within the therapeutic class for products with comparators, appears to result in prices lower than what would be obtained absent regulation. Although ex-manufacturer prices are somewhat high relative to other European countries, recent reforms have reduced the differential. While costs are under control, Switzerland has scope to improve the cost-effectiveness of its expenditures in the pharmaceutical area. Generic penetration of the market is increasing but falls short of what has been achieved elsewhere and the prices of generic products are higher than what is found in other countries. Relatively high mark-ups over ex-factory prices suggest that the distribution chain is a source of further potential efficiencies, although high costs could also reflect characteristics of the Swiss economy...
Keywords:
pricing and reimbursement, Switzerland, pharmaceutical market, pharmaceutical policy
JEL Classification:
  • I11: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Analysis of Health Care Markets
  • I18: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health