Print version ISSN 0213-9111
ANTONANZAS, Fernando; RODRIGUEZ, Roberto; SACRISTAN, José Antonio and ILLA, Rafael. Drugs in the European Union: the health-market tandem. Gac Sanit [online]. 2005, vol.19, n.2, pp. 151-167. ISSN 0213-9111. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0213-91112005000200008.
Objectives: To characterize the peculiar economic nature of the pharmaceutical market in the EU, to study potential groupings of countries based on several pharmaceutical variables, to analyze some recent regulations designed to create the single market, and to present some thoughts on the decision making process in public health from the perspective of current public health budgets. Method: We performed an economic analysis of health and pharmaceutical macrovariables, cluster analysis, review of EU pharmaceutical and industrial regulations and review of pharmaceutical budgeting legislation in the member states. Results: The pharmaceutical market of the EU was characterized and EU countries were classified into two principal groups according to 5 selected variables. EU regulations tend to promote R + D and drug production and thus the EU industrial sector is backed up. National regulations differ in terms of pricing and drugs reimbursement. Conclusions: The creation of a single market for drugs in theEU should take this regulatory diversity into account and seek equilibrium between economic factors and public health. This single market may be a dangerous strategy if it becomes a general dogma and even more so if deadlines are fixed andshort.
Keywords : Pharmaceutical industry; European single market; Pharmaceutical policy; Pharmaceutical budgets.