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Health at a Glance: Europe 2012

image of Health at a Glance: Europe 2012

This second edition of Health at a Glance: Europe presents a set of key indicators of health status, determinants of health, health care resources and activities, quality of care, health expenditure and financing in 35 European countries, including the 27 European Union member states, 5 candidate countries and 3 EFTA countries. The selection of indicators is based largely on the European Community Health Indicators (ECHI) shortlist, a set of indicators that has been developed to guide the reporting of health statistics in the European Union.  It is complemented by additional indicators on health expenditure and quality of care, building on the OECD expertise in these areas. Each indicator is presented in a user-friendly format, consisting of charts illustrating variations across countries and over time, a brief descriptive analysis highlighting the major findings conveyed by the data, and a methodological box on the definition of the indicator and any limitations in data comparability.

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Pharmaceutical expenditure

Pharmaceutical expenditure accounted for almost a fifth (19%) of all health expenditure on average in EU member states in 2010, making it the third biggest spending component after inpatient and outpatient care. Increased spending on pharmaceuticals has contributed to the overall rise in total health expenditure over the past decade, although the growth rate turned negative in several countries in 2010. The relationship between pharmaceutical expenditure and other health expenditure is a complex one, in that increased expenditure on pharmaceuticals to tackle different diseases may reduce the need for costly hospitalisations and interventions now or in the future.

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