Analysis of Medicine Prices in New Zealand and 16 European Countries

Sabine Vogler, Kate Kilpatrick, Zaheer Ud Din Babar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract Objective To compare prices of medicines, both originators and generics, in New Zealand and 16 European countries. Methods Ex-factory price data as of December 2012 from New Zealand and 16 European countries were compared for a basket of 14 medicines, most of which were at least partially funded by the state in the 17 countries. Five medicines had, at least in some countries, generic versions on the market whose prices were also analyzed. Medicine price data for the 16 European countries were provided by the Pharma Price Information service. New Zealand medicine prices were retrieved from the New Zealand Pharmaceutical Schedule. Unit prices converted into euro were compared at the ex-factory price level. Results For the 14 medicines surveyed, considerable price differences at the ex-factory price level were identified. Within the European countries, prices in Greece, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and Spain ranked at the lower end, whereas prices in Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden were at the upper end. The results for New Zealand compared with Europe were variable. New Zealand prices were found in the lowest quartile for five medicines and in the highest quartile for seven other products. Price differences between the originator products and generic versions ranged from 0% to 90% depending on the medicine and the country. Conclusions Medicine prices varied considerably between European countries and New Zealand as well as among the European countries. These differences are likely to result from national pricing and reimbursement policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-492
Number of pages9
JournalValue in Health
Issue number4
Early online date4 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


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