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Policy discussions on new medicines are often focused on cost containment rather than on the benefits they produce, such as health gains and cost savings in other sectors. In this study, we identify systematic differences in policies towards pharmaceuticals between countries and calculate the welfare gains of 39 innovative pharmaceuticals introduced in the Dutch market after 1997. Welfare gains are defined as the difference between the value of a QALY gained by innovative pharmaceuticals and their costs. The review shows that there are systematic differences among pharmaceutical policies and regulations between countries. It is further found that the welfare gains of pharmaceuticals are substantial and amount to €77 per capita per year in the Netherlands. The welfare gains could be higher if institutional barriers for an efficient utilization of innovative pharmaceuticals are removed. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Original publication

DOI

10.1080/00036846.2011.628296

Type

Journal

Applied Economics

Publication Date

01/03/2013

Volume

45

Pages

1219 - 1226