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Health at a Glance 2019

OECD Indicators

image of Health at a Glance 2019

Health at a Glance compares key indicators for population health and health system performance across OECD members, candidate and partner countries. It highlights how countries differ in terms of the health status and health-seeking behaviour of their citizens; access to and quality of health care; and the resources available for health. Analysis is based on the latest comparable data across 80 indicators, with data coming from official national statistics, unless otherwise stated.

Alongside indicator-by-indicator analysis, an overview chapter summarises the comparative performance of countries and major trends, including how much health spending is associated with staffing, access, quality and health outcomes. This edition also includes a special focus on patient-reported outcomes and experiences, with a thematic chapter on measuring what matters for people-centred health systems.

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Generics and biosimilars

All OECD countries view generic and biosimilar markets as an opportunity to increase efficiency in pharmaceutical spending, but many do not fully exploit their potential. In 2017, generics accounted for more than three-quarters of the volume of pharmaceuticals sold in the United Kingdom, Chile, Germany and New Zealand, but less than one-quarter in Luxembourg and Switzerland (). Differences in market structures (notably the number of off-patent medicines) and prescribing practices explain some cross-country differences, but generic uptake also depends on policies (OECD, 2018[1]; Socha-Dietrich, James and Couffinhal, 2017[2]). In Austria, for example, generic substitution by pharmacists is still not allowed. In Luxembourg, generic substitution by pharmacists is set by law but is limited to selected medicines.

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