Health at a Glance: Europe 2020

State of Health in the EU Cycle

image of Health at a Glance: Europe 2020

The 2020 edition of Health at a Glance: Europe focuses on the impact of the COVID‑19 crisis. Chapter 1 provides an initial assessment of the resilience of European health systems to the COVID-19 pandemic and their ability to contain and respond to the worst pandemic in the past century. Chapter 2 reviews the huge health and welfare burden of air pollution as another major public health issue in European countries, and highlights the need for sustained efforts to reduce air pollution to mitigate its impact on health and mortality. The five other chapters provide an overview of key indicators of health and health systems across the 27 EU member states, 5 EU candidate countries, 3 European Free Trade Association countries and the United Kingdom. Health at a Glance: Europe is the first step in the State of Health in the EU cycle.


Pharmaceutical expenditure

Pharmaceutical care is constantly evolving, with an increasing number of novel medicines entering the market every year. These may offer alternatives to existing treatments, and in some cases, the prospect of treating conditions previously considered incurable. However, the costs of new pharmaceutical drugs can be very high, with significant implications for health care budgets. In 2018, retail pharmaceuticals (excluding those used during a hospital treatment) alone accounted for around one‑sixth of all health care expenditure, and represented the third largest spending component in EU countries after inpatient and outpatient care. In total, the EU retail pharmaceutical bill was around EUR 190 billion in 2018. However, without accounting for spending on medicines used in hospital (generally included under inpatient care), this does not provide a complete picture of overall pharmaceutical expenditure.



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