European governments have tried many different methods to control spending on pharmaceuticals, with varying results. One of the oldest of these cost-containment measures is reference pricing – the practice of setting a maximum reimbursement price, in most cases only for off-patent medicines, and then requiring patients to pay any excess if the manufacturer sets the retail price above the reference price. This measure directly penalizes patients who use medicines that exceed their reference prices, but it also indirectly penalizes pharmaceutical companies in one of the two ways, that is, either lower prices or a reduction in the volume of prescriptions (if patients are switched to an alternative drug). Reference pricing may appear ...
The Impact of Reference Pricing in Europe
The impact of reference pricing in Europe